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SBSD - Big Bear Sheriffs Department
Thursday September 18th, 2014 :: 03:50 p.m. PDT


District Attorney has Issued an Arrest Warrant for the Kidnapping of a 3-year Old Boy

DATE/TIME: 09/18/14, 1500 hrs.

INCIDENT: District Attorney’s Office Issues Arrest Warrant for Kidnapping

LOCATION: 400 Block of San Bernardino Ave., Sugarloaf

SUSPECT: Melissa Epperley, 32-year-old WFA

VICTIM: Anthony Tummarello, Jr., 3-year-old


In January, 2014, the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station responded to a call for service regarding child concealment. Anthony Tummarello reported that he had not seen his son in 11 months and that the child’s mother, Melissa Epperley, was purposely not allowing him to see their 3-year-old. Tummarello had made numerous attempts to contact Epperley in an effort to visit the child, but his requests were refused. Epperley was reported to have been staying in Big Bear at that time. Deputies’ attempts to contact Melissa Epperley directly were unsuccessful. Epperley’s family members did not cooperate with deputies during the course of the investigation.

The matter was subsequently forwarded to the Child Abduction Unit of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for review and filing of criminal charges. The District Attorney’s Office recently filed a complaint against Melissa Epperley on felony charges of kidnapping. A warrant in the amount of $650,000 has been issued for Epperley’s arrest. Anyone having information on the whereabouts of Melissa Epperley or her 3-year-old son, Anthony Tummarello, Jr., is requested to contact the Detective’s Bureau of the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station at (909) 866-0100. Information can also be reported anonymously by contacting WETIP at (800) 87-CRIME or online at

Melissa Epperley is described as 5’7” tall, 115 lbs., with dark brown waist-length hair and brown eyes. Epperley is depicted with her son in the attached photograph.

Refer: Tiffany Swantek, PIO

Station: Big Bear Sheriff’s Station

Phone No. 909-866-0100

Case No. 061400025

John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Big Bear Sheriffs Department
477 Summit Blvd
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Emergency: 9-1-1

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