Girl killed in California standoff, suspects have Alaska ties

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The 9-year-old girl killed during a standoff with FBI agents and police in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., nine days ago was a former Fairbanks resident.

Rebecca Aramburo lived in Fairbanks for four years and attended kindergarten at Anne Wein Elementary School in 1998.

The girl's mother, Lisa Ann Platz, 31, and her mother's boyfriend, Jim Csucsai, 35, are charged with capital murder in connection with the girl's death.

The couple, who met while Csucsai lived in North Pole and Platz lived in Fairbanks, also are charged with kidnapping the girl at gunpoint at a relative's house in Lakewood, Wash., on Aug. 13.

FBI agents were tracking Platz and Csucsai after the kidnapping and received word that they were in the South Lake Tahoe area.

According to South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Martin Hale, an officer spotted a Nissan with Ohio license plates wanted by FBI parked at a campground at 1 a.m. Sept. 21.

FBI agents, El Dorado County sheriff's deputies and South Lake Tahoe police surrounded the campsite and a nine-hour standoff ensued.

It ended when officers ambushed the tent and found Aramburo dead inside with two lacerations on her neck. Hale said he would not confirm a cause of death until autopsy results are completed.

Platz and Csucsai sustained what may have been self-inflicted wrist wounds, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Csucsai also suffered neck wounds and underwent surgery.

They were treated at a local hospital, then arrested. They are being held without bail on kidnapping and murder charges at the El Dorado County jail.

According to court documents from a lengthy custody battle between Rebecca's biological father, Jose Aramburo, and Platz, the couple lived together in Bellingham, Wash., until Platz moved to Fairbanks in 1994.

She is originally from North Pole, where her divorced parents, Ed and Sharon Cartner, still live.

While in Fairbanks from 1994 to 1998, Platz married Robert Platz, who at one time tried to adopt the young girl. The adoption was denied and the couple divorced in 1998. Robert Platz refused to comment when contacted by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner last week.

During the mother and daughter's life in Alaska, Jose Aramburo tried unsuccessfully to contact them and mailed child support checks, according to court documents.

In 1998, Jose Aramburo filed for custody of Rebecca and a battle ensued in Alaska Superior Courts that involved moving the girl back and forth between parents and several sessions with psychologists.

During most of the custody battle, Platz and Rebecca were living in Ohio, presumably with Jim Csucsai. On April 12, 2001, Alaska Superior Court Judge Mary Greene granted Jose Aramburo sole custody of his daughter and turned the case over to the state of Washington.

At one time, a two-week visit with her mother turned into a three-month visit that ended when police tracked them down in San Diego in June 2001, Rebecca's father told The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash.

Csucsai, originally from Avon, Ohio, moved to Alaska with his family and was stationed at Eielson Air Force base in 1993. After 10 years in the Air Force, he got out in 1995, according to his ex-wife, Angela Maddex.

After his military service, he held a variety of jobs in Fairbanks and North Pole. Court records list Platz as a University of Alaska Fairbanks student when she lived in Fairbanks. The couple moved Outside in 1998.

Csucsai's ex-wife and children stayed in Alaska.

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