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Agua Dulce kidnap suspect found legally insane, committed to mental institution

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Signal File Photo.

An Agua Dulce man accused of kidnapping a toddler at knifepoint was found not mentally fit to assist in his own legal defense by a judge Wednesday and committed to an institution.

Thomas Ray Dillingham, a 43-year-old construction worker, was arrested on March 21, 2016, by deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station after he allegedly snatched a 2-year-old girl at knifepoint from her grandparents outside their mobile home on 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.

A San Fernando courthouse judge heard Dillingham enter his defense Wednesday, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“(He) pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to count 1, kidnapping, with the knife allegation,” said Risling. “(The) judge found him to be insane and he was committed to Patton State Hospital.”

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