Missing Calif. Girl Found Safe

Police issued a statewide Amber Alert for Nicole Timmons, 10, seen in this undated photo, after she disappeared from her home in Riverside, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002. Nicole, described as 4-feet, 6-inches tall with long brown hair, was last seen whenher mother put her to bed Monday night, say police. (AP Photo/Riverside Police Dept.) AP

A 10-year-old California girl was rescued safely after allegedly being abducted from her bedroom by her former baby sitter, who may have become disgruntled after being fired by the family.

Nichole Taylor Timmons appeared unhurt and in good spirits and was taken to Reno by an FBI agent to await the arrival of her mother and an older sister who were flying from Southern California, said Mineral County Sheriff Rocky McKellip. The time and location of the much-anticipated meeting were being kept private, he said.

"She just acted like a 10-year-old girl," McKellip said. "She was hungry so we got her a pizza and then she was playing on the computer and even wrote a card on it to her mother."

Nichole was found Tuesday when the truck she was riding in was pulled over on a highway about 110 miles south of Reno, more than 300 miles from her Riverside, Calif., home.

Former baby sitter Glenn Park was arrested for investigation of kidnapping and jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Park, 68, had recently been dismissed by the Timmons family as a baby sitter, Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach told reporters in Riverside.

"His services were no longer required here and we believe one of the reasons could be him becoming distraught with the ending of that relationship with the Timmons family," he said.

Nichole disappeared sometime before 7 a.m. Tuesday when her mother, Cheryl Timmons, discovered she was missing from her room, Riverside police Lt. John Wallace said.

"To wake up in the morning and take the blankets off of your child's bed and see empty sheets puts you in another world like you're in a cloud," Timmons said.

McKellip said authorities learned that Nichole and Park spent Monday night or early Tuesday morning at a Hawthorne motel before Park's truck was pulled over on the Walker River Indian Reservation by tribal Police Chief Ray East.

Park, who was arrested without incident, faces kidnapping charges, said tribal police Chief Ray East, who pulled the truck over. He said there were no weapons found in the truck.

East would not comment on what Park told him about a possible motive, but said he was headed to Fallon.

He also didn't want to talk about anything Nichole told him.

"The girl was visibly upset. She did cry. I think it was a relief for her that everything was finally over," East said.

Nichole was found about five hours after an "Amber Alert" was issued, resulting in hundreds of calls from motorists who believed they saw Nichole with Park.

From the beginning, police said they wanted to question two men: Nichole's father, Ralph Timmons, 41, and Park, who was said to be driving a 1982 blue-and-white Dodge pickup truck.

Nichole's parents have been divorced for some time, Wallace said. The lieutenant noted there were no child custody or visitation issues.

Neighbor Florence Porcu said Nichole was a "very well-adjusted, happy little girl ... very lovable, always happy to see you, gives you a big hug and smile. Known her since she's been born."

News of the girl's rescue spread in her Riverside neighborhood. Police rushed to a neighbor's home where Nichole's mother was been staying to tell her.

Police had said there were no signs of a struggle or forced entry into the house. "We did find the unlocked back door ... which does lead into the bedroom and the unlocked gate, which is unusual, which leads into
the back fenced area," Riverside police Lt. John Wallace said.

However, Wallace said police had information that made them believe Nichole's disappearance was more than a walkaway, "that some sort of foul play or abduction is involved."
  • Joel Roberts

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