Man accused of murdering girl at Tahoe hangs himself in jail

Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2002

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) -- A man charged in the murder and kidnapping of his girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter hanged himself in jail, authorities said Saturday.

James Csucsai, 36, had been held without bail since his arrest Sept. 21, when he and the girl's mother were involved in a police standoff at a campground. Authorities stormed their tent and found Rebecca Aramburo dead inside with her throat slashed. Csucsai and Lisa Platz, 32, were nearly unconscious from knife slashes.

Csucsai was found hanging in his cell Friday night and had left a lengthy suicide note, said Deputy Coroner Pete Van Arnum. He declined to give details of the note or suicide.

Earlier Friday, Csucsai and Platz pleaded innocent during their arraignment on murder charges. Sheriff's Sgt. Doug Pullen said Csucsai was not on a suicide watch.

The girl's father shared legal custody of the girl with Platz, who allegedly helped kidnapped her in Washington state and brought her to the campground.

Investigators said Platz was accused of abducting her daughter in 1994 and disappearing for four years.

The killing capped a bitter custody battle that began in Alaska.

Platz and Jose Aramburo, the girl's father, lived together in Bellingham, Wash., until Platz, who is originally from North Pole, moved to Fairbanks in 1994 and married Robert Platz.

The girl lived in Fairbanks for four years. The couple divorced in 1998.

Csucsai, originally from Avon, Ohio, moved to Alaska with his family and was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in 1993. After leaving the military in 1995, he held a variety of jobs in Fairbanks and North Pole.

Csucsai and Platz moved away from Alaska in 1998.

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