The primary suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl was seen on surveillance tape crossing into Mexico, authorities said Friday.
Tobias Dustin Summers was charged this week with 37 felonies stemming from last week’s abduction of the girl from her bedroom in Northridge.
Police had said recently they believed he was in the San Diego area, and may have changed his appearance by shaving his head.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Friday that investigators spotted Summers on a surveillance tape taken late last week showing him crossing a bridge into Tecate, Mexico.
It was unclear exactly when Summers crossed the border, or if the suspect was still in Mexico.
The girl was snatched around 3 a.m. March 27 from her bedroom. Her mother heard noises in the home and checked on her daughter, only to find her missing. Police fanned out across the San Fernando Valley in search of her. At about 2:50 p.m. that day, she was dropped off near a Woodland Hills-area hospital and walked to a nearby Starbucks, where she was found by a good Samaritan who pointed her toward police.
The girl was barefoot and appeared to be wearing different clothing than those she was reported to be wearing when she disappeared.
Police said she had abrasions, including some on her face, when she was found.
On Sunday, police in Northridge arrested 29-year-old Daniel Martinez, who has since been charged with one count each of kidnapping and first-degree burglary. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court to the charges, which could carry up to 12 years in state prison.
Martinez was waiting in a car outside the Northridge home when Summers emerged with the 10-year-old girl from the house, prosecutors allege. Martinez allegedly drove a short distance before leaving the car.
Summers, who is described by prosecutors as 32 years old and by police as 30, faces multiple life terms if convicted, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He is charged with one count each of kidnapping a victim under 14, kidnapping to commit another crime and first-degree burglary with a person present, along with 34 sex-related charges.
Summers has large tattoos of a flaming skeleton face and a woman on his right arm. He was described as a white man weighing about 160 pounds with blond, closely cropped hair and blue eyes.
Police said the suspect is a transient who was known to frequent the Devonshire, North Hollywood and greater San Fernando Valley areas.
Officers said Summers has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 2002, and was released from custody last July — apparently as a result of the state’s effort to relieve prison overcrowding. He has served prison terms for robbery, kidnapping, explosives possession and petty theft, police said.
The criminal complaint alleges that Summers has prior convictions for grand theft and petty theft dating back to December 2003.
It was not known whether the girl was targeted or was a random victim.
– City News Service