Missing N.Y. Hasidic Boy Found
Oct. 15, 1998
NEW YORK (AP) _ A 6-year-old Hassidic boy with cerebral palsy was found alive in Virginia on Thursday and the nanny police suspect of kidnapping him to seek a religious or medical cure for the boy was in custody, a family spokesman said.
Theresa Giannola Goldberg was arrested at a hotel in Fairfax, Va., and the boy was taken to a local hospital after the two were found together, said Leib Glanz, spokesman for the family of Chaim Weill.
It was not known when Chaim would return to his home in Brooklyn. Chaim uses a wheelchair and cannot speak.
Leah Weill came out and told a huge crowd gathered outside her apartment building how grateful she was that her son was found.
``There's just too many people to thank,'' she said. ``But above all I thank God.''
An FBI spokeswoman in Washington referred all telephone calls to the Richmond FBI office, which found the pair. A spokeswoman for that office, Mary Johlie, did not immediately return several telephone messages seeking information.
Mrs. Goldberg, 40, took Chaim for a walk while the family celebrated a Jewish holiday Tuesday, and they didn't return.
Hundreds of volunteers from the Weills' Hasidic community in Brooklyn joined police Thursday in a second day of searching. Mrs. Goldberg's own religious community, the Jehovah's Witnesses, condemned the apparent kidnapping and offered help.
Jehovah's Witnesses' congregations around the state have been notified, said Danny DeMatteis, a spokesman for the group's international offices in Brooklyn.
Mrs. Goldberg's husband, David Goldberg, had indicated she might be taking the boy to South Carolina because she heard other children had been cured of afflictions there, said Capt. John Ward, executive officer of the 90th Precinct.
But DeMatteis said there aren't any Jehovah's Witnesses' medical centers in the state.
James Pellechia, a Jehovah's Witnesses spokesman, told The New York Times that members of his church refuse to take blood transfusions on religious grounds but had no other reservations about medical treatment. He also said members don't believe in faith healing.
Several FBI agents had joined the search, said FBI spokesman Jim Margolin. And between 800 and 1,200 members of the Hasidic community also were helping look for Chaim, said City Councilman Kenneth K. Fisher, who represents the Weills' neighborhood.