Los Angeles

‘Bring Our Amanda Home': In a Handwritten Letter, Father of Missing Woman Pleads for Help

Amanda Custer is believed to have been kidnapped by her boyfriend, who was arrested after a lengthy standoff in downtown Los Angeles

The sheriff's department Monday released a written appeal from the father of a missing 31-year-old Monrovia woman believed to have been kidnapped by her boyfriend, who is in custody.

Amanda Kathleen Custer hasn't been seen since about 8 a.m. last Monday, when Robert Anthony Camou, 27, of Monrovia, allegedly placed her in the trunk of a Toyota Prius in the 600 block of Vaquero Road.

Sheriff's officials say blood was found in the Monrovia residence where Custer was allegedly assaulted and abducted.

Sheriff's investigators last week expanded their search to include the area of Lytle Creek because Camou is believed to have great knowledge of the area, which is in the San Gabriel Mountains about 16 miles northwest of San Bernardino, according to authorities.

"This is coming from Rick Custer, the dad of Amanda Custer," wrote the missing woman's father, who arrived from out of state to help search for his daughter. "I and the rest of her family are asking anybody in the Mt. Baldy and Lytle Creek areas to be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes open at this time, as we are all still searching for Amanda. We believe she disappeared in this area on Monday (July 29) ...."

He said his family is distraught and needs "to bring our Amanda home."

Sheriff's officials said last Wednesday that Camou's car was spotted -- shortly after the alleged kidnapping -- traveling north on Padua Road in Claremont toward Mount Baldy.

"Anyone on or off road, in the area of Mount Baldy -- Mount Baldy Road, Glendora Ridge Road, Glendora Mountain Road -- on Monday ... between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., that observed suspect Camou, victim Custer and/or the Toyota Prius, are encouraged to contact Sheriff's Homicide Bureau," Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff's Information Bureau said in a statement.

Sheriff's officials also asked to hear from anyone who may have seen Camou in a downtown Los Angeles bar last Monday night.

Cellphone video from the bar shows Camou during an open-mic event, singing an expletive-laden rap about killing a woman.

"I killed my (expletive) and buried that (expletive) in the (expletive) dirt," he is heard rapping.

He goes on to claim he is being sought by police, before someone takes the microphone from him.

It was just hours after the video was taken that Camou was found in the back seat of the parked Prius in downtown Los Angeles.

He was arrested around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday after a nearly five-hour standoff in which he had to be flushed out with tear gas.

There was no sign of Custer.

Camou and Custer had a tumultuous two-year relationship that included "numerous domestic violence incidents," sheriff's Lt. Scott Hoglund said.

The pair lived down the street from one another.

According to court records, Camou had been scheduled to appear in a Pasadena courtroom last Monday in connection with earlier charges including assault and domestic violence, but he was already on the lam and did not show up for the hearing, leading to the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Camou, who is being held without bail, made a brief appearance in court Wednesday and again Thursday morning.

When he returns to court in September, a date is expected to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial in the earlier case.

A redacted copy of the criminal complaint in that case, provided by the District Attorney's Office, identifies the alleged victim only as Amanda C. Camou was out of custody in that case subject to electronic monitoring, over the objection of prosecutors, who had asked that he be held on $150,000 bail.

Custer -- who is described as white, 5 feet 8, 140 pounds with brown hair and green eyes -- filed court papers in February seeking a restraining order against Camou, claiming he showed up uninvited at her home and broke a double-pane window with a hatchet, according to court documents.

Anyone with information about Custer's whereabouts was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or lacrimestoppers.org.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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