LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A convicted felon suspected in the kidnapping and rape of a 10- year-old California girl who was snatched from her bedroom last month was arrested early on Wednesday in Mexico and returned to Los Angeles, FBI officials said.
Tobias Dustin Summers, also a reputed member of a white supremacist street gang in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, was wanted on 37 criminal counts stemming from the March 27 kidnapping, the FBI said.
The girl was abducted from her home in the middle of the night, driven to various locations in two vehicles and raped before being dropped off near a hospital, according to police.
A passerby who saw her wandering barefoot with cuts and bruises outside a coffee shop watched over her until police were summoned.
Authorities did not provide details of the location and circumstances of Summers’ capture, but FBI spokeswoman Lourdes Arocho in Los Angeles confirmed he had been taken into custody in Baja California by Mexican national police.
At an afternoon news conference, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck credited a $50,000 reward that was “highly publicized south of the border” with leading to a telephone tip that helped authorities pinpoint Summers’ whereabouts.
The fugitive’s identity was initially confirmed by his tattoos, which the FBI said included the Superman logo on his upper chest, police said.
FBI special agent Tim Delaney, who oversees the criminal division of the FBI field office in Los Angeles, said Summers was returned to Los Angeles after his arrest. Beck said he would be held in lieu of $19 million bond.
Police and the FBI declined to comment on media reports that the suspect was found at a Mexican drug rehabilitation center south of Tijuana. Beck had said about three weeks ago that Summers was seen in surveillance video images crossing a foot bridge into Mexico.
Summers, 32, was indicted earlier this month on one count each of kidnapping a minor, kidnapping to commit another crime and first-degree burglary, plus 34 counts of various sex offenses. He faces multiple life prison terms if convicted, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
His accused accomplice, 29-year-old Daniel Martinez, who was charged with one count each of kidnapping and burglary, was arrested on March 31.
Police have said Summers has a lengthy criminal history and had served prison terms for robbery, kidnapping, explosives possession and theft. He was most recently released from state custody in July 2012 under a program designed to ease prison overcrowding in California.
Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Eric Walsh and Cynthia Osterman