Fugitive Felon Arrested In California After Four-Year Manhunt

After a four-year manhunt, the FBI captured Tyler Adams, a fugitive felon with over a dozen aliases and the moniker “master of disguise.” Adams, 51, was apprehended in Newport Beach, California, and is set to be extradited to Hawaii, where he escaped state custody in 2019.

Tyler Adams escaped custody in Hawaii, where he was serving time for stealing $130,000 from local banks and a $5,000 ring from Costco. Prior to this, he had served a seven-year prison sentence in San Diego for using his parents’ identities to accumulate over $3 million in debt.

During his time as a fugitive, Adams started a relationship with Navy veteran Racquel Sabean. Adams introduced himself to Sabean as Paul Phillips.

On April 17, 2022, Adams and Racquel Sabean, along with their infant daughter, crossed the border into Mexico. On May 31, Mexican police questioned him about Sabean’s disappearance, but the following day, he was seen entering the US using the alias “Aaron Bain.” The FBI is seeking him in connection with her murder.

Adams has employed various aliases, including Aaron Lee, David Smith, Dominic Braun, David Phillips, Kevin Schoolcraft, Kevin Kennedy, Michael Whitman, Lance Irwin, Brice Johnson, Matthew Kashani, Taylor Chase, and Joshua Smith.

Adams went missing from the Oahu Community Correctional Center on May 21, 2019, when he did not return from a work furlough. In September 2020, a judge issued a $50,000 warrant for Adams’ arrest on a second-degree escape charge as he had entered into a relationship with Sabean.

Residents in Tijuana discovered her remains in the trunk of her Volkswagen Jetta, parked on a residential street, after noticing a foul odor. Following Sabean’s murder, her father, David, acknowledged there were several “red flags” with Adams and expressed a belief that he was responsible for her death, saying, “I would bet my life” he killed her.

David Sabean told CBS 8 that video surveillance captured Adams parking Racquel’s Volkswagen on the street at the same location where her body was discovered.

Sabean said, “I saw it with my own eyes.” A subsequent autopsy disclosed that Racquel Sabean had suffered a broken neck.

After an Amber Alert was issued for Adams’ 7-month-old daughter, the FBI San Diego office reported that he was apprehended in Mexico. Fortunately, the baby was located safely with a babysitter in Mexico and is currently under protective custody there.

Adams is confronted with charges, including grand theft, fraud through false pretenses, the fugitive warrant from Hawaii, and federal warrants for making false statements and falsifying identification documents.

He has recently entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor grand theft and fraud charges and is scheduled to appear in court on January 3 to address the fugitive charges.