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Timeline emerges in death of San Diego mother found in Tijuana

Boyfriend Tyler Adams remains at large, He is wanted for questioning by the FBI.

SAN DIEGO — A timeline is emerging in the death of Racquel Sabean, a San Diego woman who was found murdered last month in Tijuana, as the FBI continues to search for her fugitive boyfriend, Tyler Adams, on this side of the border.

November 15, 2012:
Adams was sentenced in San Diego County to serve 14 years in prison for identity theft, with enhancements for a financial loss exceeding $200,000 and aggravated white collar crime; grand theft exceeding $400; making a false financial statement; forgery; and buying/receiving a stolen vehicle.

December 6, 2012:
Adams admitted to California state prison.

September 19, 2016:
Adams released to the San Diego County Probation Department for post release community supervision.

May 21, 2019:
Adams escapes from Oahu Community Correctional Center’s Laumaka Work Furlough Center program in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was serving time for felony theft charges filed in 2009.

September 4, 2020:
An arrest warrant is issued in Hawaii against Adams for “escape in the second degree.”

Racquel Sabean, 40, had been living in a University Heights apartment on Texas Street since approximately 2011, according to public records.

About a year and a half ago, Sabean met Adams, 50, who she knew as Paul Phillips (one of more than a dozen aliases used by Adams, according to the FBI).

February 2021:
Sabean became pregnant by Adams.

November 9, 2021:
Valentina Sabean is born to parents Sabean and Adams. Cell phone video that the family shared with CBS 8 shows the family when the baby was just five days old.

At some point in 2021, the couple started arguing, according to Sabean’s mother, Denise Hosking.

“My daughter told me sometime last year that she wasn't getting along with Paul and didn't want to stay with him,” said Hosking.

April 16, 2022:
Racquel Sabean posts her last message on Facebook, according to her father, David Sabean. The father believes his daughter was murdered shortly thereafter.

April 17, 2022:
Sabean’s white 2008 Volkswagen Jetta (registered in her mother's name) is seen crossing into Mexico.

“On April 17, they saw her car pass through Tijuana on the camera. They didn't see who was driving but that was her mother's car, which she never drove into Tijuana. Her mother told her not to. There was no insurance on the car for Mexico. And she said she would not,” the father told CBS 8.

May 31, 2022:
Tijuana police respond to reports of a foul odor coming from a car parked in the 1400 block Calle del Cantil, Jardines Section, Playas de Tijuana. Racquel Sabean’s body was found in a red and white cooler inside her Volkswagen Jetta, according to David Sabean, who told CBS 8 the autopsy showed his daughter’s neck had been broken.

June 8, 2022:
Mexican authorities issued an Amber Alert for 7-month-old Valentina Sabean.

June 12, 2022:
Adams messages Sabean’s family a short video of the baby being held by a babysitter in Rosarito. 

June 15, 2022:
Baby Valentina was found safe in possession of the Rosarito babysitter, who has not been publicly identified.  The infant was placed in protective custody in Tijuana.  Adams was questioned by authorities in Mexico regarding Sabean but was uncooperative.

June 16, 2022:
Tyler Adams, aka Paul Phillips, crossed back into the United States around 1:30 p.m. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, using yet another fake name, Aaron Bain.

June 17, 2022:
FBI issued a news release and photographs of Tyler Adams, seeking the public’s help in locating Adams for questioning in the death of Racquel Sabean.

June 23, 2022:
Baby Valentina Sabean was returned to the United States through the San Ysidro border crossing and delivered into the protection of San Diego County Child Welfare Services.

The victim’s father told CBS 8 he also has questions for Adams, who is now on the run.

“Why did you have to kill her? If you're having problems with her why don't you just leave? Now, look at what you did to your life. Look what you did to my family. Look what you did to your own daughter,” said David Sabean.

Credit: FBI

CBS 8 has learned Racquel Sabean has two sons in San Diego County, a teenager and 4-year-old. Sabean did not have custody of the boys, who may have been in the foster care system at some point in time. Family members told CBS 8 those children are safe.

The infant, Valentina Sabean, is expected to be brought to San Diego this week, where she will be received, at least initially, by child welfare services, according to family members.

Editor's note:  This timeline has been updated from it's original version to include additional details.

WATCH RELATED: Manhunt for Fugitive | FBI searching for man after San Diego woman found dead in Mexico (June 2022)

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