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Mother: Ecstatic Over Kidnaped Baby’s Return

October 23, 1986

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) _ The mother of a 3-week-old girl who was kidnapped at gunpoint said Thursday that she was ecstatic and ready to collapse when she learned her baby had been recovered unharmed.

Sharon Elizabeth Howard, 31, and her husband, Monte, 35, were reunited with their infant daughter, Lauren Nicole, late Wednesday after an informant’s tip led to the arrest of a Riverside couple, police said.

During a news conference Thursday, Mrs. Howard said she was still in shock over the kidnapping, and felt like she’d been ″totally violated.″

″I don’t trust anybody anymore,″ she added.

Her husband said he thought some good might come out of the incident, because he now wants to work with groups dedicated to tracking down missing children.

The Howards’ ordeal began Tuesday, when a woman came to their home and asked to use the telephone, saying her car had broken down. Once inside the home, the woman pulled a gun from her purse and abducted the girl.

Police Lt. Jim Rector said intensive publicity clearly had helped police solve the case.

The arrested couple were picked up after a woman called the police hot line saying she knew a woman who claimed suddenly to have been pregnant and given birth to a baby daughter.

Jim Rector identified the suspects as Elyse Joyce Ricker, 39, and her husband, Timothy Wayne Ricker, 23, and said they were arrested at their home Wednesday by police and FBI agents.

Mrs. Ricker was booked for investigation of kidnapping, said Rector.

Her husband was being held for a parole violation and Rector said police were investigating whether charges stemming from the kidnapping also can be filed against him.

Rector said he had no information concerning Ricker’s conviction or sentence.

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