The stepfather of the man wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of his girlfriend in Tijuana is shocked.
“I don’t shock easily, seven years in the military in Vietnam, this is the most I’ve ever been shocked,” said Donald Chaffee from his home in Pennsylvania.
Chaffee was also shocked to learn his stepson has a seven-month-old daughter, Valentina, who was found safe in Rosarito after Mexican officials put out an Amber alert.
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It is believed Tyler Adams -- whose real name is Kevin Schoolcraft but is known by authorities to use dozens of aliases -- and his girlfriend Racquel Sabean went to the border April 17 with their daughter 7-month-old Valentina. On May 31, Sabean’s body was found in the back of her mother’s car in Tijuana. Valentina was found safe in Rosarito after Mexican officials put out an Amber alert.
The last time Chaffee saw his stepson was in a San Diego courtroom in 2012 when his stepson was using the alias, Tyler Adams. According to court records, Adams stole his mother and stepfather’s identities and used them to buy five condos; three downtown, one in La Jolla and one in Rancho Santa Fe. Authorities say he posed as the realtor in those sales, taking another $180,000 in commission.
“It was $3.5 million” said Chaffee. “I was sued by everyone.”
The prosecutor in the case, Anna Winn, said he was a sophisticated fraudster.
“He’s the kind of fraudster who used his own parents and destroyed their credit and basically destroyed their lives in their senior years after being blue collar workers all their lives in Pennsylvania. He’s the kind of person who would do that," Winn said.
Winn says Adams pleaded guilty, and because it was the day of the trial, he had to plead guilty to all counts.
“He was representing himself and he was basically backed up against a corner. He’s not a lawyer and he was going to a jury trial on 48 felony counts.”
Adams was sentenced to 14 years in state prison, but Winn says because it was a property crime, he served the required seven years.
“I thought after he did prison time he had straightened out; I didn’t hear anything,” Chaffee said.
He didn’t hear his stepson had also served time for fraud in Hawaii and walked away from a work furlough program.
“He did? …Oh my gosh,” Chaffee said. He was also surprised to hear that his stepson, while being transferred from Mexico to the United States while on the run from that Hawaii warrant, was somehow able to walk across the border into the United States after, according to Mexican officials, he was handed him over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection while Mexican authorities suspected him of killing Sabean.
“I must have ate something and this is a bad dream,” Chaffee said. “I know he was a butthead, but to take a life?”
NBC 7 emphasized that Adams is wanted by the FBI for questioning in regards to Sabean's death, and was only considered a suspect by Mexican authorities.
Chaffee said, “Well they’re not hunting him and you’re not calling me because it’s an outside chance.”