Agua Dulce man accused of kidnapping toddler appears in court

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An Agua Dulce man accused of kidnapping a toddler at knifepoint from a mobile home in 2016 appeared in court Wednesday.

Thomas Ray Dillingham, a 43-year-old construction worker, appeared Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

The task of setting an appropriate date, however, was put off until next month.

Dillingham is now scheduled to appear back in court July 31, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors will present evidence in the case, and the defense can respond; the judge can then decide if the case should go to trial.

On March 21, 2016, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Dillingham on suspicion of kidnapping for allegedly snatching a 2-year-old girl at knifepoint from the child’s grandparents, outside their home in a mobile home park in the 12700 block of Sierra Highway.

Investigators found the suspect and the child at another nearby residence.

“The 2-year-old child is safe and was taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution,” Lt. Bryan Aguilera said at the time of the arrest.

“There’s no indication the child was assaulted or abused,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem like there’s any known relationship between the victim and the alleged kidnapper,’ he added.

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