Court Watch - POSTED: 2008/11/05 10:29
The mother of a 6-year-old boy who was abducted from her home this month had gone to police after she got a warning note in July but was told that there was no imminent threat and that she should buy a shotgun, her lawyer said Thursday.
Lawyer Dennis Leavitt also decried any suggestion that Julie Puffinburger might have been responsible for the abduction of her son Cole, after a police lieutenant told a judge she had previously spread hoax stories that the boy had been kidnapped.
Cole Puffinburger was taken by two men posing as police officers after they ransacked his mother's house in what police said was message from drug dealers to Cole's grandfather. The boy was found safe four days later.
Police did not immediately respond to requests to confirm Leavitt's account that Julie Puffinburger received an ominous written message directed at her father, Clemens Fred Tinnemeyer.
Police have alleged that Tinnemeyer, 51, disappeared in May after stealing millions of dollars in drug proceeds from "Mexican nationals" and methamphetamine traffickers. He is in federal custody in California as a material witness in the kidnapping case.
Leavitt said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that two detectives who met with Julie Puffinburger about the July 13 warning note "stated they could not do anything because there was no imminent threat and advised Julie to buy a shotgun." Leavitt said she did not buy a weapon.