A lengthy investigation and evidence has led to arrest of Tyler Newman, 25, of Modesto in connection with a case of vehicle theft, kidnapping, child endangerment and other crimes stemming from an incident last October in the Burchell Hill neighborhood.
On Oct. 30, 2018, Oakdale Police responded to the 1300 block of Cindy Drive in the Burchell Hill neighborhood to investigate a report of a black Toyota 4Runner being stolen with a six-year-old child in the rear seat. The suspect released the child a short distance away and continued to drive off in the stolen SUV. The child was quickly and safely returned to his mother by neighbors. The vehicle was last seen travelling southbound on Maag Avenue fleeing the area. The 4Runner was located, unoccupied, several days later in a northwest Modesto parking lot.
According to Oakdale Police, the event caused significant concern throughout the community and the department continued to dedicate resources to investigate the incident, including partnering with private forensic lab technicians from the Serological Research Institute (SERI) Forensic Lab to help sift through evidence.
Investigators followed the evidence, which included video surveillance from the neighborhood, various forensic examinations and DNA processing. That ultimately resulted in Newman being identified as the suspect.
The investigation indicated that Newman stole the vehicle from the driveway of the residence while the child was strapped in the child seat of the vehicle. His mother had briefly stepped outside of the vehicle to clean up after the sick child when the suspect jumped in the vehicle and fled. Shortly after the vehicle was stolen, the child was dropped off at an intersection in the Burchell Hill neighborhood approximately half a mile from the child’s house. The suspect then fled the area in the stolen vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered in the 4100 block of Dale Road in northwest Modesto.
Police discovered Newman was serving time in prison on unrelated charges from an arrest for grand theft and felony evasion in a vehicle related to an incident from Sonoma County. Newman was subsequently transported to the Stanislaus County Jail where he is currently facing new charges from the Oakdale vehicle theft /kidnapping case.
“We want to thank the residents of the Burchell Hill neighborhood for their ongoing assistance with this investigation,” said Police Chief Scott Heller. “We are also very thankful for the tenacious efforts of our investigators and the key assistance received from the Serological Research Institute Forensic Lab and for their scientific advancements in the processing of touch DNA that helped solve this crime.”
Newman has been charged for alleged violations of kidnapping during the commission of carjacking, kidnapping, child endangerment, auto theft, and additional charges related to this incident.