Murder charges will be filed today |

Murder charges will be filed today

by Michael S. Green

The mother of a 9-year-old girl slain Friday at Campground by the Lake appeared Monday in El Dorado Superior Court on a kidnapping warrant as prosecutors prepared to file murder charges today against her and her boyfriend.

Lisa Ann Platz, 32, and 35-year-old James Csucsai were arrested Friday after a nine-hour standoff with police. When officers stormed the tent, they found Rebecca Aramburo dead inside with lacerations on her neck.

Platz and Csucsai sustained what appeared to be self-inflicted wrist wounds and were treated Friday at Barton Memorial Hospital before being released to police custody.

Csucsai, whose neck also was cut, wore a white bandage around his neck Monday. Dressings were visible on his and Platz’s handcuffed left wrists.

In a brief appearance before visiting Judge Richard Haugner, Csucsai and Platz were ordered held without bail. The pair are named in a kidnapping warrant from Pierce County, Wash.,from which Rebecca was taken at gunpoint Aug. 13.

Grant Blinn, Pierce County deputy prosecuting attorney, said the California charges will take precedence.

“At some point we’ll want to extradite them up here, but certainly the murder charges are more serious and we’ll expect them to be dealt with first,” Blinn said. He confirmed Platz was out on bail for a custodial interference case when Rebecca was taken from her stepmother’s parents’ house.

El Dorado County prosecutors were compiling reports Monday from law enforcement officers who responded to the standoff, including South Lake Tahoe police, El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies and the FBI. Platz and Csucsai will hear the formal charges against them when they are arraigned today at 3 p.m.

In Monday’s hearing, Csucsai and Platz sat two seats apart in an otherwise empty jury box, wearing restraints and orange jail jumpsuits.

In a strained voice, Csucsai replied “Soo-sigh” when asked to pronounce his last name. Platz softly answered the judge’s questions “yes, sir” and “no, sir.” Both asked for attorneys to be appointed.

In the meantime, they’ll remain at the El Dorado County jail. Lt. Les Lovell, the jail commander, would not discuss what specific measures – such as a suicide watch or isolation – were being taken to ensure the safety of Csucsai and Platz.

“Any time someone is charged with the death of a child, we would certainly take precautionary measures to monitor the mental and physical well-being of the person charged,” Lovell said.

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