FBI seeks father whose baby went missing; girlfriend is presumed dead
Federal authorities on Friday sought the public’s help to locate a man whose girlfriend, a San Diego resident, was found dead recently in Tijuana and whose 7-month-old daughter was thought to be missing before she was found safe last week.
The FBI said Tyler Adams, a 50-year-old United States citizen with more than a dozen aliases, used fake identification Thursday to avoid detection as he crossed back into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Adams, who has not been identified as a suspect, is wanted for questioning in the disappearance and presumed death of 40-year-old Racquel Diane Sabean, according to the FBI. Decomposed remains thought to be Sabean’s were found late last month in Tijuana in an abandoned vehicle.
Baja California officials issued an Amber Alert for Sabean’s daughter — an FBI spokesperson said Adams is presumed to be the father — on June 8, saying the trio had crossed into Mexico together in April.
On Wednesday, Mexican authorities detained and questioned Adams in connection with the Amber Alert, but he was uncooperative, according to the FBI.
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On Thursday, authorities canceled the Amber Alert after the baby was found safe and in good health in Mexico, according to the Baja California attorney general’s office. The FBI said the baby remains in protective custody in Mexico.
That day, around 1:30 p.m., Adams crossed into the U.S. in San Ysidro using the alias “Aaron Bain,” according to the FBI.
“He used a fake ID, not a passport,” an FBI San Diego spokesperson wrote in an email Friday to the Union-Tribune. “There was an active warrant in his true name at the time of his crossing which would have resulted in additional screening.”
In a news release, the FBI said Adams is “a wanted fugitive” in Hawaii on a second-degree escape charge. A warrant for his arrest in that case was issued in September 2020.
Adams, Sabean and their infant daughter crossed into Mexico on April 17, according to information provided in the Amber Alert.
Two Haitian migrants in Tijuana were the most recent to die under circumstances that the community attributes to systemic racism in Mexico’s hospitals and U.S. border policy.
On May 31, residents in a Tijuana neighborhood complained of a foul odor coming from a vehicle, according to several media reports. Authorities responded and found a decomposing body, believed to be Sabean’s, in the back of the car.
A U.S. Navy spokesperson confirmed Sabean served in the Navy from 1999 to 2002.
The FBI described Adams as a white man with brown hair and possible swelling underneath his eyes, standing 5 feet 9 inches and about 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a yellow short-sleeved button-up shirt, tan pants and black running shoes. Photographs taken Wednesday by Mexican authorities showed him with prescription or reading glasses hanging on his shirt collar.
Adams is known to use these aliases: Aaron Lee Bain, Aaron Lee, Aron Lee, Paul Wilson Phipps, Paul Wilson Phillps, David Smith, Dominic Braun, David Phillips, Kevin Schoolcraft, Kevin Kennedy, Michael Whittman, Lance Irwin, Brice Johnson, Matthew Kashani, Taylor Chase and Joshua Smith.
Anyone with information about Adams’ whereabouts was asked to contact the FBI at (800) 225-5324 or tips.fbi.gov, or San Diego County Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477, or online at sdcrimestoppers.org.
Riggins is a staff writer with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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