A woman and her boyfriend reported to the Northern California city police about an elaborate and bizarre kidnapping incident involving her, but investigators dismissed the case as nothing but a hoax. The couple sued and now the city and its police department have to pay the pair $2.5 million in a settlement.
Vallejo city police initially dismissed as a “hoax” the report by Denise Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, that a masked intruder drugged them in their home and then kidnapped her in 2015.
The kidnapper horrifically also sexually assaulted Huskins before releasing her two days later outside her family’s home in Southern California. Huskins has openly spoken about what happened to her in the past.
The police only realized that Huskins was telling the truth after a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney, Matthew Muller, was implicated in another crime and linked to the abduction. Muller has pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and now serving a 40-year prison term.
The Vallejo police have since apologized for erroneously dismissing the “outlandish kidnapping.”
Huskins sued police and a judge ruled that the lawsuit could proceed. Quinn’s mother, Marianne Quinn, confirmed to local media that a settlement in the lawsuit was reached Monday.
Prosecutors revealed that it turned out that Muller used a drone to spy on the couple before brazenly breaking into their home with a fake gun, tied them up and made them drink a sleep-inducing liquid.
Muller then blindfolded the couple while he played a recorded message that made it appear as if there was more than one kidnapper. Afterward, Muller put Huskins in the trunk of his car, drove her to his home in South Lake Tahoe and held her there for two days.
The investigators later found videos of Muller fixing the cameras in a bedroom then recording himself sexually assaulting his blindfolded victim twice.
Muller even used an anonymous email during and after the kidnapping to send messages to a San Francisco reporter claiming that Huskins was abducted by a team of elite criminals practicing their tactics.
Huskins was later released in the city of Huntington Beach. Vallejo police then dismissed her abduction as a hoax and even compared it to the book and movie “Gone Girl” where the character goes missing and then lies about being kidnapped when she made her reappearance.
Muller was arrested for a different case, an attempted robbery, at another San Francisco Bay Area home. Authorities found evidence in his cellphone paving the way for the discovery of his link to abduction and abuse of Huskins.