Monday, December 11, 2017
Public safety

Hillsborough deputies search for husband suspected of kidnapping estranged wife

LITHIA — Trevor Summers' life rapidly disintegrated over the past seven months:

In September, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in federal court in Philadelphia. In October, his wife, Alisa Summers, sought a domestic violence injunction against him. Two months later, she filed for divorce.

Then, on Feb. 21, she filed for another protective order, accusing her husband of holding her prisoner at knifepoint.

Now Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies are searching for the couple after witnesses reported this disturbing scene Saturday night: A woman with her hands tied behind her back was screaming for help as a man forced her into a vehicle and drove off.

Deputies believe that the woman was Alisa Summers, 37, and that she may have been kidnapped by her husband. The Sheriff's Office launched a wide-ranging search for both Sunday, but to no avail.

Saturday's incident took place at a Walgreens at 5605 Fishhawk Crossing Blvd. about 9:05 p.m. They were last seen in a dark blue Saturn Outlook with the tag GLHM32. The car is registered to Alisa Summers.

"Obviously, we're very concerned for our client," said the wife's divorce attorney, Steven Glaros. "She's expressed lots of fear of her husband."

Deputies said Alisa Summers went to her husband's home to talk about their marriage but never returned home. Married in Pennsylvania in 2001, they are separated and both have injunctions against the other. They have five children ages 3 to 14 who are staying with Trevor Summers' father, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Trevor Summers, 39, is supposed to return to Philadelphia on Wednesday to be sentenced by a federal judge, according to records.

"We've contacted other agencies and placed alerts and tried to track other locations that could be of interest to them," sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

A 2008 federal lawsuit filed against Trevor Summers accused him of having more than 20 civil suits filed against him, serving probation for minor charges such as passing bad checks, and filing for bankruptcy three times from 2004 to 2006.

He lost a $4 million judgment in 2011, records show, but it was not known if the plaintiffs ever collected.

Trevor Summers' attorney said he pleaded guilty to a wire fraud and conspiracy scheme in September. A jury also convicted his co-defendant, Jonathan Snyder, on similar charges, according to news reports.

Federal prosecutors accused the men of falsely claiming to hold patents on straws that could be printed with safe ink and spending $1 million on machines to print those straws. But it was all a scam to defraud investors out of at least $345,000, prosecutors said.

One of the investors was Krissy Flynn, 39, a Pennsylvania restaurant owner who met the couple while in high school there. She described Trevor Summers as brilliant but weird.

A few years ago, he pitched to her the idea about advertising straws. She thought it was promising. Flynn said she invested $10,000 and offered to help with the distribution side of the business.

Soon, though, Flynn said she suspected some shady moves. For example, staffers and investors of the new venture were given cellphones for themselves and their families. But Flynn said the phones went dead because no one paid the bills. She ended up as one of the investors who prosecutors said were cheated by Trevor Summers, who was indicted in 2015.

"I don't trust this guy for a second," Flynn said. "He's a brilliant person, and he knows how to scam money out of people."

It was after he pleaded guilty to federal charges in Pennsylvania, records show, that his personal life began to unravel in Florida.

Trevor Summers pleaded guilty in federal court on Sept. 16. Court records show Alisa Summers asked a Hillsborough judge for a domestic violence injunction against her husband on Oct. 31. It was dismissed on Nov. 10, records show. She filed for divorce in Florida a month later.

Then, on Feb. 21, she filed another petition for a protective order. Alisa Summers said that after meeting to discuss a divorce settlement at Trevor Summers' home, he pulled a knife on her, threatened to bind her with duct tape and rope, and held against her will for several hours.

She begged him to let her go. When he finally did, she wrote in the petition, she called 911 and waited for deputies at a gas station. But no arrest was made.

On Feb. 22, Trevor Summers filed for a protective order against his wife, accusing her of fabricating the previous day's allegations against him. He also accused her of angrily pushing their 12-year-old son into a corner.

The Sheriff's Office confirmed that Alisa Summers called for help Feb. 21. A sheriff's spokeswoman said Trevor Summers wasn't arrested because all deputies had to go on were their conflicting statements. That case is still under investigation.

Glaros said both injunctions were granted by the judge. But the divorce proceedings were on hold until the husband was sentenced in federal court. He faces up to four years in federal prison.

The divorce attorney said he was surprised that his client would visit her husband. He said Alisa Summers wouldn't even go to the injunction hearing. She was too scared of her husband.

Trevor Summers' attorney in the federal criminal case, Hope Lefeber, said she was shocked to learn about the latest allegations. If they prove true, the attorney said, they could impact Trevor Summers' federal sentence.

He was distraught by the divorce, the attorney said, but had a Christian faith and no violent criminal record.

"I know he always wanted to work out his marriage," Lefeber said.

Times staff writer Paul Guzzo contributed to this report, which contains information from Digital First Media. Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or [email protected] Follow @kathrynvarn.

     
   
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