Threats to a local priest put Our Lady of Malibu parents on edge last week, with rumors spreading after the school conducted an emergency “lock-up drill” Friday.
Lt. Thom Bradstock, Malibu’s liaison with the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, reassured parents at the school Tuesday morning that the children were not in any danger and that the perpetrator was believed to have left the area.
The school said private security guards would be on the campus for the rest of the week.
A man who claimed to be working for an investigative agency in conjunction with the FBI appeared at the school and told Fr. Bill Kurze he was trying to locate two girls who had been abducted from their Pennsylvania home by their mother. The man, who identified himself as Greg Wolf of Los Angeles, asked Fr. Bill to let him go into the classrooms to look at the children. Fr. Bill declined.
“The same day, March 24, two letters addressed to Fr. Bill were found in the school’s mail box,” Bradstock said. “They appeared to be hand delivered; there were no postmarks. The letters were threatening in a way that he was trying to pressure Fr. Bill into cooperating with his investigation, but there was no threat of bodily harm. They said it would be in his best interests to comply, more like a legal threat than a physical one.”
The school decided to do a lock-up drill, a routine used for all emergencies, and sent a note home with the students explaining why. “I think the school thought they were doing a good thing and didn’t realize they needed to give parents more detail to mitigate their fears,” Bradstock said.
Fr. Bill reported the incident to sheriff’s deputies, who responded to another call, from a Serra Retreat homeowner, who said the man had come to the house looking for the girls.
“There is a possibility that the person we found looking for the girls in Serra Retreat is the same man,” Bradstock said. “He did, in fact, work for an investigative firm and claimed he was working with the FBI. He was identified as Greg Ent on his drivers license.” A sergeant contacted the FBI to verify and two agents confirmed the man was acting on valid information. They came out and made a search of their own for the girls. They asked the resident if they could search the property, and she complied. It was confirmed by the homeowner that the mother and daughters had been there and had left.
Fr. Bill said he asked the man who called himself Greg Wolf what made him think the children were there, and he said the girls had been seen wearing school uniforms. The school said the children had never been there. The mother and children are now believed to have left the country.
Both men, if indeed there were two, claimed there was a $2 million reward posted by the father for the two girls, who were first reported missing in June 1997.
“At this point in time, there’s no clear criminal violation,” Bradstock said. “However, the station will continue to look at this incident and will contact the investigating agency and Greg again. The guy made an allegation that appears to be true, that his agency set up a network of areas they were going to surveil, including LAX. I think this guy pushed the envelope but didn’t cross over into a criminal arena.”