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Suspect charged in Northridge girl's kidnapping, assault

April 03, 2013|By Kate Mather, Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton
  • Daniel Martinez was charged Wednesday with felony counts of kidnapping and burglary.
Daniel Martinez was charged Wednesday with felony counts of kidnapping… (KTLA-TV Channel 5 )

A man identified as a "secondary suspect" in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl was charged Wednesday with felony counts of kidnapping and burglary, prosecutors said.

Daniel Martinez, 29, of West Hills was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of kidnapping a minor under the age of 14 and first-degree burglary, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced.

His arrest was announced Monday, a day after he was taken into custody about two miles from the girl's Northridge home. The main suspect, Tobias Dustin Summers, remains at large, and authorities have broadened their search to San Diego.

Authorities have not said how their investigation led them to Summers or Martinez. 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.

Court records show both men have extensive criminal histories, though authorities said neither is a registered sex offender. Most of the crimes the men were convicted of occurred in the San Fernando Valley. 

Summers has convictions for receiving stolen property, grand theft, petty theft, possession of an explosive and presenting false identity to police, records show. 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, records show. In April 2012, he was convicted of threats of death or great bodily injury.

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. Albanese gave no details on the violation.

Sources told The Times this week 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 said the girl's mother noticed her daughter was missing from her bedroom about 3:40 a.m. March 27. 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. Authorities said anyone who sees Summers should call 911.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

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