Suspected Monrovia Kidnapper in Custody After Standoff in Downtown L.A.; Search for Victim Continues

A man suspected of kidnapping a woman in Monrovia on Monday was taken into custody following a standoff with police in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning, but the victim remains missing, authorities said.

Robert Camou, left, and Amanda Custer are seen in undated photos released July 29, 2019, by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Robert Camou, left, and Amanda Custer are seen in undated photos released July 29, 2019, by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Los Angeles police were alerted by authorities in Monrovia at about 2:45 a.m. that a kidnapping suspect could be in the area, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Chris Ramirez said.

Officers then located a gray Toyota Prius near the intersection of South Hill and Third streets and attempted to make contact with a man inside, Ramirez said.

The man, later identified by authorities as 27-year-old Robert Camou, initially refused to return contact and did not come out of the vehicle.

It was unclear if Camou was armed but police had to be careful, Ramirez said. “We’re being cautious because we treat kidnap suspects as armed and dangerous,” he said.

Armored SWAT vehicles were called to the location and parked alongside the Prius.

About five hours after the vehicle was first spotted, the suspect came out when a small amount of tear gas was shot into the vehicle, Ramirez said.

Camou was expected to be booked on suspicion of an unrelated no bail domestic violence warrant after he's treated for exposure to the tear gas, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

A car matching one being sought in a kidnapping case is spotted in downtown Los Angeles on July 30, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A car matching one being sought in a kidnapping case is spotted in downtown Los Angeles on July 30, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

No one else was found inside the Prius.

The model and license plate of the car matched the description of a Camou's vehicle that was put out in a sheriff's news release Monday.

The news release was issued to ask the public for help in the search for Camou and described him as a “dangerous kidnapping suspect."

Investigators believe Camou abducted his girlfriend Amanda Custer from a home on the 600 block of Vaquero Road in Monrovia.

Police were sent to the home about 8:15 a.m. on a domestic violence call.

Blood was located at the scene and a witness told police the suspect placed Custer under the cargo hatch of the Prius, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Scott Hoglund said Monday.

“At this point it doesn’t sound like there was a scuffle of any sort when she was placed underneath the rear hatch,” he said.

Custer's condition at the time she was put into the vehicle was unknown.

Investigators will search and process the Prius, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Authorities are continuing to search for Custer, who was described as a 31-year-old white female who stands 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. She has brown hair and green eyes.

Camou had been scheduled to appear in a domestic violence case on Monday but never showed up, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Anyone with further information about the case was asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500. Those who prefer to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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