VALLEJO (CBS SF) — In a matter of hours, the kidnapping and ransom case involving a Vallejo woman went from a tearful, happy ending to allegations of a hoax.
Denise Huskins went missing from her Vallejo apartment Monday. After hours spent searching for the woman – 40 detectives, search teams, divers, dogs — combing the marshland of Mare Island and following leads, police believe “there was no evidence to support the claims this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all.” Lt. Kenny Park said investigators were led on a “wild goose chase.”READ MORE: New Facebook Whistleblower Says Executives Shrugged as Algorithm Stoked Hate, Misinformation
Here are 5 red flags that led police to believe Huskins was never abducted:
1 – Delay in reporting the abduction
Aaron Quinn, Huskin’s live-in boyfriend waited several hours to report the abduction. Quinn went to police at 2 p.m. Monday; Huskins was abducted sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. Quinn said he was delayed because the abductors drugged him.
2 – Ransom was only $8500
According to Quinn, Huskins’ abductor demanded a random $8,500 ransom. In a press conference his lawyer said the demand for ransom was addressed to him, not to the Huskins family.
3 – Bizarre email and audio tape sent to the SF Chronicle
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle received an email from someone claiming to be Hoskins’ abductor. The email promised her safe return on Wednesday. It was accompanied by an audiotape purported to be Denise Huskins. Her father confirmed it was her voice. To prove Huskins was still alive, the voice referenced Tuesday’s jet crash in the French Alps.
4 – Huskins reappears 400 Miles Away
After leaving a voicemail on her father’s voicemail saying, “I’m okay, daddy,” Huskins’ abductors allegedly drop her off at her mother’s home in Southern California. She walks 12 miles to her father’s house where a tenant sees her and calls 911.
5 – Huskins a no-show; hires a lawyer
After initial indication she would cooperate and speak with investigators, Vallejo police arranged to have Huskins flown to Northern California. In fact, Huskins did not return, and instead retained an attorney.
Investigators said the facts of the case just don’t add up.
At a press conference Thursday, an attorney for Quinn said his client had cooperated fully with police and underwent 17 hours of interrogation. He also said Quinn provided access to his computer and phone, fingerprints, and a blood sample to help with the investigation.MORE NEWS: Climate Change Disrupting Natural Cycles at Drier Lake Tahoe
Meantime, Vallejo Police said investigators will continue to look at any and all evidence, but insist Huskins’ disappearance “was not a random act of violence” and “appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping.” They are trying to determine what, if any, criminal charges should be filed against her. If guilty, Huskins could be forced to pay restitution for all the monies spent by local, state and federal agencies during the search.