Search expands for Monrovia woman whose boyfriend allegedly rapped about killing her

Robert Camou is suspected in the disappearance of his girlfriend
Robert Camou, who is suspected in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Amanda Custer, is taken into custody in Los Angeles last week.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities have expanded a search of a large swath of the San Gabriel Mountains for a missing woman whose boyfriend was arrested last week after a bizarre performance at an open mic night in downtown Los Angeles in which he rapped about killing and burying a woman.

Amanda Custer, 31, has been missing since July 29 when a witness reported seeing the woman, who was possibly unconscious, being loaded into the rear cargo hatch of a gray 2017 Toyota Prius outside a home in Monrovia. When police arrived at the home in the 600 block of Vaquero Road, they found blood, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund said.

Investigators think Robert Camou, 27, assaulted Custer and took her from the home against her will. Later that day, the Prius was seen traveling north on Padua Road in Claremont toward Mt. Baldy.


Last week, investigators began searching the Mt. Baldy area, and on Friday, they expanded their search to Lytle Creek. Authorities say Camou has “great knowledge” of both areas. Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen the vehicle in that area on July 29 to contact them.

Sheriff’s officials did not immediately provide an update on the search Monday morning.

Camou was taken into custody July 30 after police found him sleeping in the Prius in downtown Los Angeles. He is being held without bail on a warrant related to domestic violence, burglary, battery and assault charges that were filed against him in May. Camou had been ordered by the court to stay away from Custer and wear an electronic monitoring device, according to prosecutors.

Hours before his arrest, a man who appeared to be Camou was recorded on video at a bar in downtown performing an expletive-filled rap about killing and burying a woman. The Sheriff’s Department is reviewing the footage, officials said last week.

Camou has not been charged in connection with Custer’s disappearance.

Public records show Custer lives less than a block from the home on Vaquero Road that Camou shares with his parents. It is not clear when they met, but Hoglund said the pair had been dating for at least two years.

Much of their relationship had been tumultuous, marred by domestic violence allegations that became more persistent in the last several months, according to police and Los Angeles County court records.

In early February, Custer sought a restraining order against Camou, alleging that he was verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive toward her. She wrote in the filing that Camou had been harassing her with text messages and phone calls using “over 100 fake numbers” for more than a month, during which time he also scaled a side fence to her home and tried to get into her bedroom.


She told him to leave during the late January incident and sat down on the floor of her bedroom until she couldn’t hear him anymore. When she looked out the window into her yard, she saw him carrying a hatchet, she wrote.

“As he was walking away with it I opened my window and asked him if he planned on taking that too like he took my book for school,” she wrote. “He turned around came running at my window and broke my double pane window with the hatchet.”

Custer alleged Camou took the hatchet and smashed the side mirrors off her grandmother’s car. He is facing a misdemeanor vandalism charge in connection with that incident. He has pleaded not guilty, court records show.

Custer’s petition was denied after a hearing in late February. Shortly after the couple left the courtroom, Camou responded by filing his own restraining order, alleging that Custer hit him on multiple occasions. He requested $2,000 from her for counseling and temporary housing, court documents show. That request was dismissed by a judge in March.