Dabord arrested after being found near U.S.-Mexico borderPosted: Friday September 20, 2002 12:45 AM
Updated: Friday September 20, 2002 11:04 AM
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The older brother of missing NBA player Bison Dele was found comatose and was arrested on a fraud charge for allegedly impersonating his brother and for fleeing arrest on the charge.
Miles Dabord was traveling with his brother and two companions aboard a boat in the South Pacific before the disappearances.
FBI Supervisor John Steiner in San Rafael, Calif., said Dabord was found comatose near the California-Mexico border Saturday night and was immediately transported to a San Diego area hospital.
"It's premature to call him a murder suspect because we haven't declared it a murder," said Andy Black, FBI spokesman in San Francisco. "We're treating the boat in Tahiti as a crime scene and we haven't heard from any of those people in months."
Black said authorities wanted Dabord for questioning.
Police in Chula Vista, Calif., said Dabord was found in Tijuana, Mexico just across the border. He was identified Thursday and remained in intensive care.
Steiner said Dabord was found alone, but he declined to provide details about Dabord's injuries or the circumstances of his discovery.
In Phoenix, Dabord had allegedly claimed he was Brian Williams -- Dele's former name. Dabord signed receipts with the name while trying to buy $152,000 in gold there.
Steiner refused to say whether Dabord was a suspect in his brother's disappearance.
"The investigation is continuing," he said. "I want this case to be resolved for the families."
The 33-year-old Dele spent eight seasons in the NBA with Orlando, Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago and Detroit. The Chicago Bulls picked him up late in the 1996-97 season before winning the fifth of six titles.
Dele, his girlfriend Serena Karlan and Bertrand Saldo, a French skipper sailing with the group, were last seen July 8 during a layover in Tahiti, a French Pacific territory, investigators said.
The four set sail together from Auckland, New Zealand, May 2.
Michel Marotte, chief prosecutor in Papeete, Tahiti, said investigators there believe Dele, Karlan and Saldo were killed. Tahitian investigators were giving Dele's boat a close examination, Marotte said.
The catamaran was docked on July 18 by Dabord, French judicial officials have said. Its name had been removed and it was registered under a new name, "Aria Bella."
Officials said Mexican authorities first spotted Dabord and initially believed he was drunk. Border patrol officers were notified and transported Dabord to the hospital.
Dabord had no identification on him when he arrived, said FBI special agent Jeff Thurman of the San Diego office. His condition didn't change over several days, so hospital officials requested help from Chula Vista police in identifying him. Fingerprints confirmed his identity.
Dabord had not regained consciousness and remained in intensive care late Thursday.
Dabord, also known as Kevin Williams, was detained Sept. 5 by police in Phoenix.
Dabord showed his younger brother's passport as identification, the FBI said. Arizona police released Dabord without formally arresting him.