LAS VEGAS – Investigators were looking for the grandfather of a kidnapped 6-year-old boy Friday, saying they believe the abduction may be linked to the man's drug dealings with Mexican nationals. The boy, Cole Puffinburger, was abducted from a Las Vegas home Wednesday morning by three men posing as police officers. Police said they believe the men were Mexican drug dealers and that the kidnapping at gunpoint was a "message" to his grandfather, Clemens Fred Tinnemeyer.
"Tinnemeyer has stolen a large sum of money, all proceeds from illegal drug activity," Las Vegas police Capt. Vincent Cannito said.
Police believe methamphetamine was involved, said Officer Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas police spokesman.
Tinnemeyer, 51, may have stolen millions of dollars from the Mexican nationals, said Officer Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas police spokesman. Johnson declined to say what role Tinnemeyer played in the drug operation or whether the kidnappers were seeking a ransom.
Tinnemeyer was last seen in May and reported missing Sept. 11, said Johnson.
A nationwide Amber Alert remained in effect after two men tied up Cole's mother and her boyfriend at their house Wednesday and abducted Cole. Cannito said a third man was believed to be involved.
He said police had "several" other persons of interest in the case, but no suspects in the abduction.
Meanwhile, authorities were looking for Tinnemeyer and his white Dodge pickup with Mississippi license plates, Cannito said.
Authorities also were investigating whether other family members had ties to the drug operation, Johnson said.
"Money is a huge factor, obviously. Drugs are a huge factor," Johnson said. "The only innocent person involved in this entire operation is the boy."
The FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating.
(This version CORRECTS the spelling of Tinnemeyer in the 5th paragraph.))