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Secondary suspect arrested in kidnap, sex assault of Northridge girl

Daniel Martinez, 29, was arrested Sunday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping. He's being held in lieu of $1-million bail. The principal suspect, Tobias Dustin Summers, is still at large.

April 02, 2013|By Andrew Blankstein, Kate Mather and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
  • LAPD officers and detectives gather on the 8800 block of Oakdale Avenue near Nordhoff Street in Northridge, where a 10-year-old girl disappeared from her home one night last week. She was found about 12 hours later, about six miles away.
LAPD officers and detectives gather on the 8800 block of Oakdale Avenue… (Mel Melcon, Los Angeles…)

A man described as a secondary suspect in last week's kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl has been arrested, Los Angeles police said Monday.

Daniel Martinez, 29, of West Hills was taken into custody in Northridge early Sunday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping. He was being held in lieu of $1-million bail.

Even as the arrest was announced, LAPD Robbery-Homicide investigators continued to search for the prime suspect, identified over the weekend as Tobias Dustin Summers.

A statement from the Los Angeles Police Department said detectives had reason to believe that Summers, 30, could be in San Diego and that he may have changed his appearance by shaving his head.

They have not said how their investigation led them to either man. LAPD officials initially said two men were suspected of taking the girl from her Northridge home but said Saturday that Summers was the primary focus of the case.

According to court records, Summers has convictions for receiving stolen property, grand theft, petty theft, possession of an explosive and presenting false identity to police. In 2009, he was convicted of battery. Originally, he was also charged with annoying a child, but that charge was dismissed.

Between 2004 and 2012, Martinez was convicted of burglary, petty theft, grand theft, resisting a police officer and unlawfully entering a property. In April 2012, he was convicted of threats of death or great bodily injury, records show.

Most of the crimes the men were convicted of occurred in the San Fernando Valley.

Authorities said neither man is a registered sex offender.

It's unclear exactly how long either suspect has spent behind bars. But it appears Summers received an eight-month prison sentence in the petty theft case, and Martinez was sentenced to 16 months in prison in the grand theft case.

LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said Summers was taken into custody Jan. 13 for a probation violation and released Jan. 19, but he did not elaborate on the violation.

Sources told The Times on Monday that investigators were still trying to determine why the girl was targeted. At the moment, they said, they do not believe it was related to a 2008 international parental abduction involving her relatives.

LAPD investigators have said the girl's mother noticed that her daughter was missing from her bedroom about 3:40 a.m. Wednesday. She was found about 12 hours later in a parking lot about six miles away.

Authorities believe she was dropped off in Woodland Hills, where a man spotted her in a parking lot and pointed her in the direction of nearby police officers.

Sources later told The Times she had been sexually assaulted.

After she went missing, the girl was initially identified by The Times, citing authorities. However, it is the policy of The Times not to identify victims in cases of alleged sexual crimes.

The LAPD asked anyone with information about Summers to call detectives at (213) 486-6890. Anyone who sees him should call 911.

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

kate.mather@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

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