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FBI searching for man after San Diego woman found dead in Mexico

Authorities are searching for Tyler Adams, who is connected to multiple addresses and names in San Diego and Temecula.

SAN DIEGO — The FBI is asking the public to help them find a man wanted for questioning after his girlfriend disappeared and was found dead in Mexico.

Authorities are searching for Tyler Adams and an FBI agent told CBS 8 that Adams is a master of disguise and he's dangerous.

Authorities found the body of his American girlfriend, Racquel Sabean, in a car in Mexico May 31. Adams was last seen crossing the border, using a fake ID, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry into San Diego Thursday afternoon. 

Adams is described as 50 years old. He’s 5’9”. About 175 pounds. If you have any information that can help the FBI, call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

The race to find him started with the race to find his seven-month-old daughter, Valentina. She was last seen in April crossing the border into Tijuana with her parents.  

The pictures of Adams are different from the ones Racquel Sabean's father, David Sabean, has of him. 

David told CBS 8: “I didn’t like him. I could see through this. He was a phony. Like a fantasy persona.” 

David is in Tijuana to identify his daughter through DNA. He said he had trouble getting in touch with his daughter Racquel when she was in Mexico. 

“They always change phones. What I found out later I think they were using burner phones,” said David.

But then he got a call from Mexican authorities that they had found his ex-wife’s car abandoned. Several days later, he got the call he’ll never forget. 

“They called four days later and said there's a body in the back seat I said right there to myself, 'that's my daughter,'" he said. 

Now David hopes to bring his seven-month-old grand daughter Valentina back home with him to Southern California.

Adams is an ex-con who was "admitted to state prison on Dec. 6, 2012, and on Sept. 19, 2016, released to the San Diego County Probation Department for post release community supervision," according to a spokesperson with the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation.  Court records show Adams has previous convictions for identity theft resulting in a loss of more than $200K, grand theft, making a false financial statement, forgery, and receiving a stolen vehicle.

Adams also has a warrant for his arrest out of Hawaii, where he allegedly escaped in 2019 from a work furlough program.

Credit: FBI

Aliases, changing appearances, stolen identities 

Authorities report that Tyler Adams has nearly a dozen aliases and identifications. Here’s a list of known names: 

  • 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 
  • Joshua Smith

“He's wanted in connection to an unsolved homicide in Mexico, so yes, he should be considered dangerous," FBI Special Agent William McNamara said.

McNamara also said that his look is unique, adding that’s a pattern seen with Adams, he uses aliases, he changes his appearance, he steals other people’s identities. 

As of his latest look, McNamara said: “Whether or not he was in some physical altercation, whether it is a physical intentional attempt to alter his appearance, whether it's some sort of injection or surgery we don’t know. But clearly that appears to be swelling around the eyes or face. It’s noticeable.” 

In the beginning the priority was to find the seven month [old] baby to be sure if she was in danger or not. Because May 31 we found the body of a woman's decomposing. And now we know that body belongs to the mother of the baby. We wanted to make sure that the baby was in no danger," said Ricard Carpio the Baja California Attorney General in Mexico.

The discovery of Sabean’s body prompted an Amber Alert. When Mexican authorities tracked down Adams, he told them baby Valentina was safe with his girlfriend in Mexico.  

"That other woman told us she was having to care about the baby because the father of the baby asked her to," added Carpio.

Mexican authorities turned Adams over to Immigration in Mexico, but somehow he crossed the border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry into San Diego using a fake ID. 

Now, FBI agents say the man wanted in connection with the disappearance and probably the murder of Raquel Sabean in Mexico, is on the loose. Agent McNamara warns, “He changes his look, he has multiple identities he uses over time.” 

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