FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POINT OF CONTACT: Lieutenant Neal Griffin, 760-839-4700
On the afternoon of June 10, a fourteen year old Escondido resident was reported missing when he did not return home from school. An investigation by Detectives of the Escondido Police Department determined that the juvenile had been abducted by Tony McLeod, 36, of Tampa, FL. It was determined that McLeod, who had initiated contact with the victim through an on-line game, had traveled from Tampa, Florida to Escondido. McLeod somehow enticed the victim to leave Escondido with him. Escondido Detectives were able to determine that the suspect and victim were on a commercial airliner bound for Tampa. Federal and local law enforcement officials in Tampa were notified. Immediately upon arrival McLeod was arrested and the victim was taken into protective custody in Tampa, FL.
McLeod is currently being held on a number of charges in the state of Florida. Charges in California are also pending, as well as possible federal charges. On June 11, 2013 a conference call was held between Detectives and Commanders of the Escondido and Tampa Police Departments, as well as representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in both San Diego and Florida; and, local state prosecutors in both jurisdictions. A comprehensive strategy is being developed to insure the best course for prosecution of this significant case. The victim has returned to California. This multi-jurisdictional investigation is continuing with the collection of evidence, interview of additional witnesses and other follow up activity in both Tampa and Escondido.