NEW: "We have not seen evidence yet that this was some kind of hoax," boyfriend's lawyer says
Police call the case a hoax, a "wild goose chase"
Abductors seized Denise Huskins on Monday, her boyfriend told authorities
He wasn’t lying about Denise Huskins’ abduction.
That’s the message sent Thursday by lawyers for Aaron Quinn, the boyfriend of a woman who may or may not have been abducted in Vallejo, California, according to CNN affiliate KGO.
Quinn really was drugged and bound during the abduction of Denise Huskins, lawyers Daniel Russo and Amy Morton said during a press conference, KGO reported.
“What has been coming out makes him look like he’s somehow perpetrating a hoax and I want to make it clear to everyone that we have not seen evidence yet that this was some kind of hoax,” Russo said.
“As to the victim and her failure to cooperate with police, we don’t know what that’s motivated by,” Russo said, according to KGO. “And it’s unfair to speculate.”
Huskins, 29, was reported kidnapped on Monday in Vallejo, California, with a demand for $8,500 ransom. She showed up safe and sound on Wednesday in Huntington Beach, 400 miles away. When Vallejo police went to talk with her she disappeared again.
Vallejo police have said they don’t believe Huskins or Quinn, who initially told police Huskins was abducted.
“We know that the statement Mr. Quinn provided was such an unbelievable story we initially had a hard time believing it and, upon further investigation, were not able to substantiate any of the things he was saying,” Vallejo police Lt. Kenny Park said.
Park called the case a “wild goose chase” that wasted department resources.
Denise Huskins, who was reported kidnapped two days ago in Vallejo, California, has been found safe more than 400 miles away, authorities and her father said Wednesday.
Charges are possible in the case, Park said, but those will be decided by the district attorney once the investigation is complete.
The quickly changing developments left authorities frustrated.
Quinn called on Monday afternoon to report that his girlfriend had been kidnapped several hours earlier from his home.
At the time, Park said the case was being treated as a kidnap for ransom.
Huskins’ father, Michael, made an emotional appeal through CNN affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco directed at the kidnappers: “Don’t hurt her, please don’t hurt her.”
“The biggest fear is the horror she might be going through … that’s my biggest fear. The horror, she doesn’t deserve that, not from anybody.”
“It’s like a nightmare that I can’t wake up from,” her father told the affiliate. “This is not supposed to happen.”
Then, the San Franciso Chronicle posted an audio clip. On it, a woman who identified herself as Denise Huskins says she has been abducted.
“My name is Denise Huskins. I am kidnapped, otherwise I’m fine,” the voice says. “Earlier today there was a plane crash in Alps and 158 people died. And one thing that people know about me is that I went to my first concert, me and my mom, to Blink 182 (last word is inaudible).”
The editor in chief of the Chronicle, Audrey Cooper, said the newspaper received a link to the audio file in an email.
The Chronicle reported the anonymous email said Huskins would 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.”
Call to her father
Then came Wednesday.
The Chronicle reported that Huskins’ father said he received a voice mail from his daughter saying she had been dropped off at his apartment.
He called police to ask that the authorities pick her up and make sure she was safe, he told the newspaper.
“I almost had a heart attack,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “I tried to get authorities to pick her up, but they kept asking me a bunch of questions. I said, ‘Send a squad car.’ I was hyperventilating.”
Officers from the Huntington Beach Police Department talked with Huskins at her father’s apartment complex, department spokeswoman Jennifer Marlatt told reporters.
Huskins initially indicated she would be happy to talk with Vallejo police and provide details of what happened, according to Park.
Vallejo police and the FBI sent a jet to Huntington Beach to fly her back to the Bay Area.
When it was time to go, Huskins was a no show.
Authorities are unclear what exactly is going on. Or , if they know, they’re not saying.
Police said the requested ransom amount was $8,500. The FBI is investigating the Huskins’ financial records.
About 40 detectives from various agencies and 100 support personnel “worked around the clock” on the case, leaving the community on edge, Park said.
“I can tell you that our investigation has concluded that none of the claims has been substantiated,” he said. “And I can go one step further to say this: That this was not a random act and that the members of our community are safe and that they have nothing to fear.”
“It’s disappointing. It’s disheartening,” he said.
CNN’s Dan Simon, Tony Marco, Faith Karimi, Ashley Fantz, Elan Bird, Michael Martinez, Stella Chan, Rosalina Nieves and Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.