Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Mental Exam Ordered in Kidnapping Case

August 23, 2000

LOS ANGELES — An Italian man accused of kidnapping his daughter and taking her from Los Angeles to Italy was jailed and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after family members and court officials questioned his mental stability. The case has drawn much attention because the child's mother was found dead in the man's apartment under mysterious circumstances after she tried to retrieve the girl.

Carlo Ventre, 51, who was released on $100,000 bail earlier this year, had been living in Las Vegas near his brother, Gianfranco Ventre.

Carlo Ventre faces trial in U.S. District court on charges that he kidnapped his daughter, Santina Ventre, 4. Santina's mother, Toni Dykstra of San Pedro, was killed in 1998 in Ventre's Rome apartment after she went there to retrieve the girl. authorities never charged Ventre with that death, which Ventre's lawyer has said was self-defense.

Court officials said they were concerned that Ventre might have been about to flee to Italy or that he might pose a danger to himself, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Elaine Lu.

Gianfranco Ventre, who was awarded temporary custody of Santina in June, told the court that he was concerned about his brother's mental state, adding that he had recently discontinued his brother's monthly allowance of $3,000. This, coupled with the fact that Carlo Ventre recently lost his job, led court officials to believe he might be about to flee.

After a psychiatrist evaluates Carlo Ventre, court officials will set another hearing to determine whether to release him on bail. If convicted, Ventre could face three years in prison for kidnapping.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|