Federal investigators announced Monday that they charged a suspect in the case of a Vallejo woman kidnapping-for-ransom, which was initially deemed by the local police as an “orchestrated” event and a “wild-goose-chase.”
The suspect, a disbarred attorney who graduated Harvard, was also charged last month with robbery and home-invasion in the SF Bay Area. The robbery was very similar to what happened to the California woman and her boyfriend months ago, federal agents said.
On March 23, Denise Huskins, 29, was allegedly kidnapped from her and her boyfriend’s home in Vallejo by two unidentified suspects. The kidnappers asked that the family would pay an $8,500 ransom if they wanted to see her again.
Aaron Quinn, who was also in the home when the abduction occurred, said he woke up in the middle of the night with a bright flashlight in his eyes. The two men drugged and bound him to a chair.
Ms. Huskins was released a couple of days later, and she was first seen by her relatives in Huntington Beach were kidnappers dropped her off. A few hours later the ransom was due.
But the Vallejo Police had doubts that there was a real kidnapping. Nevertheless, they continued the investigation. Some people even said that the abduction was a plot orchestrated by the woman and her boyfriend to obtain some money from her family.
Vallejo Police declined to comment on the FBI report released Monday. Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins participated in a news conference in their home city on Monday with their lawyers by their side. The couple held hands during the conference and hugged when the event was over.
Mr. Quinn declined to comment in order not to obstruct the current federal investigation.
The couple’s lawyers, however, asked police investigators to publicly apologize for the harm done to the couple. Mr. Quinn’s attorney said that the Vallejo Police Department should “do their job” and do not draw hasty conclusions before the investigation is over. The lawyer also said that investigators should first think before they talked.
Agent Jason Walter from the FBI wrote in a report released Monday that the agency has evidence that the suspect, Matthew Muller, abducted the Vallejo woman. Federal investigators said that they found and took Mr. Muller under custody in South Lake Tahoe.
The suspect had a laptop very similar to the one Mr. Quinn reported he was deprived of during the robbery. Moreover, federal agents fond in a car stolen by the suspect various items that were very similar to those Ms. Huskins lost during her kidnapping. Also, the vehicle’s GPS system stored a Huntington Beach address since March.
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