Massive California Kidnapping Story Reportedly a Hoax

Huskins kidnapping (Associated Press)
Associated Press
San Diego, CA

Vallejo Police may seek state or federal charges against Denise Huskins and boyfriend Aaron Quinn after multiple government agencies, over 100 search and rescue personnel and significant resources were utilized in the search for Huskins before it was discovered that the whole affair may have been a hoax.

Denise Huskins was reported as possibly kidnapped for ransom the afternoon of March 23, when her boyfriend told police she had been forcibly taken sometime in the early morning hours, according to a City of Vallejo Police Department (VPD) release.


“Today, there is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all,” CPD Lt. Kenny Park stated March 25, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Given the facts that have been presented thus far, this event appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping.”

A March 24 VPD update during the search for Huskins had noted involvement of the FBI and multiple other government agencies along with over 100 trained search and rescue personnel.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Chronicle received email from the seemingly phantom kidnapper that reportly read, “will be returned safely (Wednesday). We will send a link to her location after she has been dropped off. She will be in good health and safe while she waits. Any advance on us or our associates will create a dangerous situation for Denise. Wait until she is recovered and then proceed how you will. We will be ready.” An attached audio file contained Huskins saying, “I’m kidnapped, otherwise I’m fine. Earlier today, there was a plane crash in the Alps, and 158 people died.”

In a third update, on Wednesday March 25, searching had reportedly expanded to include dive team deployment in an underwater search that produced no results.

Huskins’ father Mike received a voicemail from his daughter Wednesday morning, the Chronicle reported, telling him she had been dropped off at the family home in Huntington Beach in southern California. He added, “It doesn’t sound like she knew what a big deal this was. She said, ‘Dad, I just want to let you know that I’m all right.’”

Lt. Park told reporters late Wednesday that the ransom requested had been $8,500, but that detectives had questioned statements from Huskins’ boyfriend Quinn from the beginning.

Police say that Huskins and Quinn are no longer considered victims, according to the Chronicle. Though the FBI arranged to have Denise Huskins flown back to northern California, she has since retained a lawyer, and attempts to contact her have been unsuccessful. Lt. Park reported that police have been unable to determine Huskins’ whereabouts since she retained an attorney.

Huskins’ uncle, attorney Jeff Kane, apparently disputes the claim that the kidnapping was a hoax.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana