Northridge Kidnapping Suspect Arrested at Mexico Rehab Clinic: Police

Baja police confirm Tobias Summers was taken into custody in remote village near Ensenada

A parolee wanted in connection with the kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl from her Northridge home was arrested Wednesday in a remote Mexican village at a rehab clinic where he had checked in under an alias, police said on Wednesday.

Tobias Summers, 32, was arrested at La Mision clinic in the village of Las Missiones, south of Rosarito near Ensenada, said Alfredo Arenas of the Baja California State Police.

The FBI alerted Mexican police to the suspect's possible location on Tuesday evening, Arenas said.

Police visited the clinic and were able to identify Summers by a "Superman" tattoo on his chest, said Arena, who provided the FBI photo of Summers below. The suspect was taken into custody at a nearby beach.

Police said Summers had met a woman who worked at a coconut stand at the beach where he was helping her sell treats to tourists.

He was arrested Wednesday morning and was set to be brought to Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at news conference.

"We could never make whole the lives of that family and the young girl after this horrific event, but we can and we will and we do make plain to anybody in this city that thinks that they can commit that kind of crime and remain free after doing so, we can make sure that they know that that is not true," Beck said. "We'll hunt you. We'll find you. You cannot hide."

Summers had arrived at the downtown LA Metropolitan Detention Center by 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Summers was named as a suspect after the girl was taken from her home the night of March 27 during what police said was a botched burglary.

The girl was found -- barefoot, scratched and bruised -- some 12 hours after her disappearance, at a Woodland Hills coffee shop. She described her assailants and said she had been taken to multiple locations during her ordeal.

A second suspect, 29-year-old Daniel Martinez, was arrested several days after the kidnapping. Charged with one count each of kidnapping and burglary, Martinez was considered a secondary suspect after allegedly driving a getaway car a short distance before getting out, according to county allegations.

Summers, meanwhile, was charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors on April 3 with 37 felony counts -- one of kidnapping a child, one of burglary, one of kidnapping to commit another crime, and 34 counts related to sexual assault against the kidnapping victim.

In addition to the state charges, Summers faces federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, according to a complaint filed in federal court on April 11.

The court document (PDF) provides a chronology of the days after the kidnapping happened.

A joint FBI/LAPD fugitive task force learned that the suspect may have fled to San Diego on March 31. The next day, police and agents interviewed a friend who told them Summers was thinking about going to Mexico.

Within several hours of police announcing Summers as their primary suspect in the case, still photos captured the suspect entering Tecate, Mexico, on March 30, court papers said.

A warrant was issued for his arrest on April 3.

Summers was released from prison in July 2012 under California's Assembly Bill 109, an initiative aimed at easing prison overcrowding and was on "post-supervised release," according to police.

He previously served three prison terms, has a history of substance addiction and allegedly has been active in a San Fernando Valley white supremacist gang.

Summers was still being questioned near the U.S.-Mexico border as of Wednesday afternoon, LAPD Lt. Andy Smith said. He was expected to be booked into a downtown LA jail.

The LA County Probation Department said in a news release that Summers was identified in a call to its tipline set up for reports on ex-convicts who have absconded after early release from prison. The call, received at 1 a.m. Wednesday, provided a detailed description of Summers and the name of the town where he was found.

Summers was expected to be arraigned Friday at San Fernando Superior Court, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. His bail had been set at $19 million.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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