Operation: Bring My Boy Home
updated 04/14/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/14/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
The next day, delivered to the airport in a black government SUV, Kobe boarded a New York-bound plane with his very relieved, very grateful—and very determined—mother. Helping Tiffany plan and execute the high-stakes mission were former CIA agent Bazzel Baz and Mark Miller of the American Association for Lost Children, the nonprofit group Tiffany turned to after losing patience with the police and FBI. Miller, Tiffany says, "wanted no money. He's an angel." (As for Salko, the FBI has issued an arrest warrant on kidnapping charges. Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.)
At home with his mother and stepfather, Chris Rubin, Kobe, who says he was "bullied" by his South Korean classmates because of his dark skin, is playing his beloved Nintendo Wii and preparing to return to school. Mostly, he says, "I just like seeing my mom."