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Grandmother Seeks Baby's Return

Cheryl Gardner has made an appeal to her son and daughter-in-law, who kidnapped their own 20-month old son two weeks ago, reports Correspondent Susan Boggs of CBS Affiliate KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City.

"If you're out there watching this right now, please...think about what I'm saying to you, Chris," Mrs. Gardner said in an FBI news conference on Sunday, during which she asked her son to surrender to authorities. "We want you back safe. We want this to end peacefully."

Christopher Fink and his wife, Kyndra, allegedly kidnapped their malnourished baby from a Salt Lake City, Utah, hospital.

The last time Gardner saw her grandson, David, he was healthy -- nothing like the pictures she saw for the first time just last week.

The child was taken from Primary Children's Medical Center on Sept. 19, five days after Mrs. Fink's family had brought in the starving child. The family had taken the pictures of David that Gardner viewed on Saturday.

"It made me cry," she said, remembering the images of the boy. "It made me sick. I just wanted to reach out and ask God to take away his pain and not let him feel the hunger."

David weighed 16 pounds, which is about the size of an average 6-month-old.

Investigators say the Finks believe their son is "the Christ child" and Christopher has fed him only foods he believes are pure -- maybe just watermelon and lettuce.

"He has to believe in something that he believes is good or he wouldn't be doing this, and that's why we have to help him and pray for him and get him a chance to tell his story," Mrs. Gardner said.

On top of the abduction, the starving son and the police hunt to find the Finks, Kyndra is nine months pregnant and could have her new baby any day.

"Please, you know, the winter is going to be cold," said Rickie Gardner, Cheryl's husband, in a similar plea to the Finks. "Sooner or late,r you are going to have to come in and take care of this."

Temperatures dipped below freezing and snow was falling in Utah's mountains over the weekend. Although the FBI has no firm leads on the couple's whereabouts, Mrs. Gardner said she suspects they are somewhere in the wilderness.

The last confirmed sighting of the family was at Deer Creek Reservoir, about 50 miles southeast of Salt Lake, on Sept. 25. Authorities searched the rugged terrain surrounding Laramie Peak in Wyoming last week after reported sightings but found nothing.

Gardner and her husband are roving ministers from Altoona, Pa., and said they headed for Utah to try to find the Finks.

Mrs. Gardner said she has not spoken with the Finks since May 1997, and cannot fathom what would have led them to starve their child.

"I'm hoping one of them gets the parenting instinct that says, 'I've got to get help'," Mrs. Gardner said.

She said she had raised her five children as Methodists when they were young, and after dabbling in various religins, they all joined the Mormon church in early 1990s.

She said Christopher and Kyndra Fink left the church two years ago, because they oppose the church's teaching that allows abortion under certain circumstances. They oppose all abortion, she said.

The FBI has offered up to $20,000 for information leading to their arrest.

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