A man suspected of assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend in Monrovia appeared briefly in a Pasadena courtroom Thursday in connection with a previous case in which he is charged with assault and domestic violence.
Robert Anthony Camou, 27, sat quietly during the hearing. He was wearing a protective vest designed to prevent inmates from committing suicide or otherwise harming themselves. A judge denied a media request to film the proceeding, and the hearing was subsequently postponed until Sept. 4.
Camou has not been charged in connection with the disappearance of his 31-year-old girlfriend, Amana Kathleen Custer. She hasn’t been seen since about 8 a.m. Monday, when Camou allegedly placed her in the trunk of a Toyota Prius in the 600 block of Vaquero Road in Monrovia. Sheriff’s officials say blood was found in the residence where Custer was allegedly assaulted and abducted.
Camou was arrested around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday after a nearly five-hour standoff in downtown Los Angeles. He was found in the back seat of the Prius and had to be flushed out with tear gas. There was no sign of Custer.
Camou and Custer had a tumultuous two-year relationship that included “numerous domestic violence incidents,” sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund said. The pair lived just down the street from one another.
According to court records, Camou had been scheduled to appear in a Pasadena courtroom on Monday in connection with earlier charges including assault and domestic violence, but he was already on the lam and did not show up for the hearing, leading to an arrest warrant being issued.
Camou, who is being held without bail, made a brief appearance in court Wednesday and again Thursday morning. When he returns to court in September, a date is expected to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial in the earlier case.
A redacted copy of the criminal complaint in that case provided by the District Attorney’s Office identifies the alleged victim only as Amanda C — presumably Custer. Camou was out of custody in that case subject to electronic monitoring, over the objection of prosecutors, who had asked that he be held on $150,000 bail, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators are continuing to search for Custer. Sheriff’s officials said Wednesday Camou’s car was spotted shortly after the alleged kidnapping traveling north on Padua Road in Claremont toward Mount Baldy.
“Anyone on or off road, in the area of Mount Baldy — Mount Baldy Road, Glendora Ridge Road, Glendora Mountain Road — on Monday … between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., that observed suspect Camou, victim Custer and/or the Toyota Prius, are encouraged to contact Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a statement.
Sheriff’s officials also asked to hear from anyone who may have seen Camou in a downtown Los Angeles bar Monday night. Cell phone video from the bar, first obtained by KTLA5, shows Camou during an open-mic event, singing an expletive-laden rap about killing a woman.
“I killed my (expletive) and buried that (expletive) in the (expletive) dirt,” he is heard rapping. He goes on to claim he is being sought by police, before someone takes the microphone from him.
It was just hours after the video was taken that Camou was found inside the parked Prius in downtown Los Angeles.
Custer — who is described as white, 5 feet 8, 140 pounds with brown hair and green eyes — filed court papers in February seeking a restraining order against Camou, claiming he showed up uninvited at her home and broke a double-pane window with a hatchet, according to court documents cited by ABC7.
Anyone with information was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or lacrimestoppers.org.
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