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Northridge kidnapping suspect arrested in Mexico

Northridge kidnapping suspect Tobias Dustin Summers is seen in a mugshot provided by Mexican authorities shortly after his arrest on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
April 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tobias Dustin Summers, the primary suspect in the kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl from Northridge, was captured Wednesday in a small Mexican village near Tijuana, where he'd been hiding under a fake name.

Authorities received a credible tip on Tuesday that helped officers pinpoint where Summers was. On Wednesday morning, Mexican police moved in and arrested him. Police say he used a fake name to check in to a drug and alcohol treatment center. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says the suspect tried to blend into the community.

"He had embedded himself into the community in various ways at that point, and we were able to extricate him from that," Beck said.

It appears police in Mexico were able to identify him from a Superman logo tattooed on his chest. Summers was handed over from Mexico to U.S. authorities around noon.

"We're very happy because this will provide a measure of justice to the family and to the small child who was abused, and they know that this trash bag is going to be facing justice in the United States," Alfredo Arenas, commander of the Baja California State Police fugitive squad.

Summers was charged with 37 felonies, including kidnapping, burglary and nearly three dozen sex-related counts. If convicted, Summers, a parolee with a criminal record dating back to 2002, could face multiple life terms in prison.

Suspected accomplice Daniel Martinez, who was arrested April 3, pleaded not guilty to one count each of kidnapping and first-degree burglary.

Authorities said they believe 29-year-old Martinez was waiting in a car outside the girl's home while Summers kidnapped the girl on March 27. Martinez then allegedly drove a short distance with Summers and the girl, then left and was not further involved. The girl was found hours later wandering six miles from her home near a Starbucks in Woodland Hills. She was barefoot, had bruises and scratches, and wasn't wearing the same clothes she had on when she vanished.

The 30-year-old transient has been the subject of an international search since the kidnapping. He had been spotted in a video recording as he crossed the border into Mexico at Tecate, east of San Diego.

"When we learned he fled to Mexico, we obtained an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant, a federal warrant, for his arrest," said special agent Tim Delaney with the FBI.

The FBI offered a $25,000 reward, and it was highly publicized south of the border. Beck said he believes it was the reward that led to the phone tip that eventually led to the arrest.

"The family is very relieved," Beck said. "They look forward to some resolution."

Summers is being held on $19 million bail.


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