Saturday, 2:15 PM
Statement of Baltimore Realtor Julie Gochar
Thank you for coming today.
My name is Julie Gochar. I am the managing partner of Obsidian Realty in Baltimore.
The last several days have been a dramatic and overwhelming experience for myself and the agents at Obsidian Realty.
I’d like a to take a few minutes to give you a brief chronology of my company’s contact with the man we knew as Charles “Chip” Smith and you know as Rockefeller. I’ll also talk about our efforts to assist law enforcement’s search for him.
I’d also like to correct some misrepresentations that have appeared in recent press reports.
Obsidian Realty is a full-service real estate brokerage firm based here in Baltimore.
In late 2007, an individual contacted my company via e-mail under the name of “Chip.” He told us he intended to relocate from Chile to Baltimore to purchase a 2-3 bedroom home for him and his daughter.
My company assisted his search for properties on and off for several months. During that time, we arranged for him to stay in temporary rental housing in Baltimore to facilitate his search.
At his request, we also provided him temporary access to our offices so he could use the internet to facilitate his relocation efforts.
In mid-July, Smith arrived in Baltimore to finalize transaction for the purchase of a property on Ploy Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. This was a cash transaction using cashier’s checks, which is not an uncommon practice.
Throughout this entire process, he presented himself as a single parent re-locating himself and his daughter to Baltimore.
On August 1st -- we saw a bulletin on morning news with several photos of a “Mr. Clark Rockefeller”-- the man we knew as Chip.
We contacted law enforcement and told them we believe we know his whereabouts.
Over the next twenty-four hours we worked with law enforcement on a continual basis until he was captured and his daughter was returned to safety.
If there is one silver lining -- and this means a lot to me as a new mother -- it is that our real estate agents did the right thing and did it quickly to return a young child safely to her mother.
I’d like to dispel two misrepresentations made by Mr. Rockefeller:
First, he is not an owner, investor, or employee of Obsidian Realty.
Second, he is not related to anyone in my family or any of the owners of Obsidian Realty.
His only relationship with us was as a client.
I know you each have very important questions. But because we are cooperating with law enforcement, we have been asked not to take any questions.
Thank you again for your time.
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