Amber Nicklas has learned her true name and is being given therapy to cope with the trauma of leaving the only family she remembers, an investigator said Monday. Amber was placed with an undisclosed California foster family until authorities can decide where she finally will live, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Patrick Maxwell said.
He had no immediate word on how the girl was adjusting after being taken from the home of a Phoenix couple who run a palm-reading business. County child welfare officials have provided the girl with a therapist, he said.
“No matter what these people were in Arizona, to this little girl, they were the only family she knew,” Maxwell said. “In her eyes, she was taken from her mother and father, and a brother and a sister.
“We do feel bad about that, but we have to remove her from that house to make sure that nothing else was going on,” he added. “They had a missing child for almost 7 years and we have to look at the full circumstances.” It is unclear how long Amber will stay in foster care. Read more here.
Amber was one year old when she was abducted from her foster parents on Sept. 21, 2003, by three juvenile aunts during a visit to a children’s restaurant in a Los Angeles suburb, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Jerry Saba. The foster parents were distracted by two of the aunts and the third aunt got away with the child, authorities said.
Two of the aunts spent time in juvenile camp for the abduction, but authorities would not release details on why they took the child or if they remain part of the investigation. It was not clear how Amber wound up in Phoenix, though there apparently was some sort of connection between the aunts and the family there.