Father's note to kids of kidnapped mom: We'll be watching from heaven

Trevor Summers also admitted holding his wife against her will Feb. 18, detectives say.
Trevor Summers also admitted holding his wife against her will Feb. 18, detectives say.
Published March 16, 2017

TAMPA — Investigators searching an SUV after the rescue of Alisa Summers on Monday found a chilling letter written by her captor-husband, addressed to their five children.

In it, Trevor Summers rued the divorce that had torn the family apart.

"So we have ended it for your sake," he wrote, according to court documents. "We wish you the best in everything you do and will be watching you from heaven."

During two days of captivity, Alisa Summers, 37, briefly lost consciousness to a pillow over her face, was tied to a bed with rope and Christmas tree lights, and was hauled around Southwest Florida for hours as her husband looked for a charter boat that would take them to sea, records show.

Trevor Summers, 39, was held without bail after making his first appearance Wednesday before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Paul Huey, but the matter of pretrial release will be revisited at a hearing Monday.

Prosecutors want him kept in jail as he awaits trial on six charges in the abduction of his estranged wife, who filed for divorce in December but awakened Saturday to find him in her Valrico bedroom.

Details of the weekend are laid out in a six-page petition for pretrial detention submitted to the court by Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner, who was joined at the first appearance by Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.

About 3 a.m. Saturday, Pruner wrote, Trevor Summers persuaded the couple's 14-year-old daughter to let him in through an open window and then drive her 12-year-old brother down the block in the father's car.

Summers entered the woman's bedroom, where she was sleeping with younger children, and awakened her. "She forcibly resisted Trevor Summers' attempts to move her into a nearby room," the record states, "scratching and fighting him."

In the hours that followed, he tried to persuade her "to travel with him to the islands, where he purportedly had millions of dollars secreted in an off-shore account," the record states. He also had the older daughter retrieve the remaining children and take them to his own home in Riverview.

He tied Alisa Summers to the bed, the prosecutor wrote, releasing her for sex, conversation, showers or food.

About 8 p.m. Saturday, he decided to return to his house to say goodbye to the children before leaving for "the islands," the record states.

It's unclear from the record whether he made it to the house.

He would later tell investigators that he put a pillow over his wife's face to scare her because she was "mouthing off," but Alisa Summers said he used the weight of his body to hold it in place for several minutes and she lost consciousness briefly.

He untied her to pack a bag for the trip, the prosecutor wrote.

"Ms. Summers thought her estranged husband was going to kill her so she told him that she would leave the country with him," Pruner wrote.

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Trevor Summers wasn't supposed to travel. He was scheduled to be sentenced in a federal fraud case in Pennsylvania on Wednesday of this week.

On their way to his Riverview home, with Alisa Summers' sitting in the passenger seat, hands bound behind her, they stopped at a Walgreens to buy her some cold medicine.

From inside the store, Trevor Summers looked out and saw his wife, hands still tied, leave the SUV, he told investigators.

"He ran outside, grabbed Ms. Summers … put her back in the vehicle and secured her seatbelt," Pruner wrote.

The SUV left the parking lot, but a passer-by had seen the incident and called 911. Deputies converged on the store.

It was just after 9 p.m. Saturday. Eighteen hours had passed since her husband entered her home. Alisa Summers was no longer alone in her predicament.

After a night of putting together the pieces, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office released photos of the couple and the SUV. The woman's story lit up social media and news websites, going national as many feared the worst.

Meanwhile, according to Pruner's court filing, the two spent the rest of the night and most of Sunday driving around rural Southwest Florida, including Arcadia and Bradenton.

"The defendant was searching marinas for a charter boat to take them to the islands," Pruner wrote. "For her part, Alisa Summers continued to try to defuse the situation by engaging the defendant in calm conversation and acquiescing to his wishes and suggestions."

On Monday morning, a witness spotted the vehicle parked near a restaurant in a waterfront resort in Ruskin. Deputies followed it to the carport of a home 2 miles away.

Alisa Summers jumped from the car and was hysterical, but alive, Sheriff David Gee later said. She had a cut on her wrist.

"She tried to escape once from her ties and I cut her wrist once," Trevor Summers said in a handwritten note titled "confession" that he left in the SUV. "I wanted her to leave town with me," he wrote, "which she originally agreed to but changed her mind."

He also slashed his own neck, deputies reported. The wounds were not life-threatening. After a brief hospital stay, he was transferred to the Hillsborough County Jail. He faces six charges, which include kidnapping, grand theft, violation of a domestic violence injunction, sexual battery, grand theft of the SUV and attempted murder.

During his interview with detectives, he admitted that he had also held his wife against her will on Feb. 18, threatening her with a machete when she tried to leave, the record states. He previously denied her allegation.