Ben Bergman/ KPCC
The LAPD says kidnapping suspect Tobias Dustin Summers has a lengthy criminal record.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has filed kidnapping, burglary and sexual assault charges against the primary suspect in last week's kidnapping of a 10-year old Northridge girl; that suspect remains on the run. The charges mark the first time officials have formally alleged that the girl was sexually assaulted, though they danced around the subject in public statements.
Los Angeles police said Tuesday that Tobias Dustin Summers, 32, was last seen in the San Diego area, according to tips detectives received.
A second suspect, Daniel Martinez, 29, was arrested over the weekend and charged Wednesday with one kidnapping and one burglary charge for his alleged participation in the kidnapping. Martinez entered his plea Wednesday to one count each of kidnapping and burglary. Bail was set at $150,000, and he was scheduled to return to court April 10.
Prosecutors allege that Martinez waited in a car outside the Northridge home last Wednesday when Summers emerged from the house with the 10-year old girl. Martinez then drove them a short way and then left and was not involved any further, according to the complaint.
Court records accuse Summers of forcing the girl to perform sexual acts and pose for nude photographs. He faces nearly three-dozen sexual assault charges.
The girl's mother reported her daughter missing around 3:30 a.m. A noise in the house roused the woman to check on her daughter, who was put to bed around 1 a.m.
Los Angeles police and the FBI searched for the girl. She was found 12 hours later near a Starbuck's about six miles from her home. Detectives say the girl was placed into several vehicles, taken to an abandoned home and eventually dropped off at a hospital parking lot. She was barefoot, wearing different clothes and had several cuts and bruises to her body.
Detectives said the girl was held captive in an abandoned home in her neighborhood.
“Taking the child to the home was an integral part of the suspects’ plan to evade capture,” stated an LAPD press release.
Police are reminding realtors in the Northridge area to lock all windows, doors, back houses, sheds, garages and basements in any empty homes.
The LAPD has not said what led them to name Summers and Martinez as suspects. Chief Charlie Beck declined to comment on whether DNA linked the suspect to the crime.
The girl told detectives that she did not recognize the men who took her.
“It certainly appears to us that the victim or the victim’s family had nothing to do with their involvement,” Chief Beck said Tuesday.
Police in San Diego have handed out flyers with a photo of Summers. He is described as a white man in his 30s with large tattoos on his right arm of a flaming skeleton face and a woman. Police believe he might have shaved his head to change the way he looks.