Attorneys for Aaron Quinn, the Vallejo man who reported his girlfriend Denise Huskins as kidnapped for ransom, held a press conference Thursday to dispute the police assertion that the kidnapping was a hoax.
Huskins was found in her hometown of Huntington Beach Wednesday, two days Quinn said she was taken against her will from their Vallejo home by kidnappers. Police said Wednesday night that they have no evidence that the kidnapping by force actually happened and said they cannot locate Huskins and she is not cooperating with them.
“None of this makes sense,” said his attorney Daniel Russo said. He said neither Quinn nor Huskins has financial issues or a history with drugs and alcohol.
Russo said it’s absolutely not true that police don’t have evidence of the kidnapping.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Drugged By the Kidnappers
His attorneys, from the law office of Morton and Russo, said the kidnappers forced him to drink something that they said was drugged, which is why he did not report the kidnapping until Monday afternoon. There were two kidnappers.
Russo said police are making it look like Quinn is perpetrating a hoax.
“We have not seen evidence yet that this was some type of hoax,” Russo said.
As for Huskins not cooperating with police, Russo said they don’t know what that’s motivated by, and it’s unfair and unreasonable to speculate she had some involvement.
2. He Was Interrogated By Police for More Than 17 Hours
Quinn was interviewed by local police and the FBI for more than 17 hours, part of that time without an attorney present. His attorneys said Quinn cooperated fully with police, giving them access to search his house, along with his phone, clothes, passwords to his phone and computer, a blood test and fingerprints.
3. He Cried When He Found Out Huskins Was Alive
His attorney said Quinn “cried” when he found out Huskins alive. He has not been able to talk to her yet.
Quinn was cooperating with police because he feared Huskins would be killed.
“He has basically died and gone to hell. He’s in terrible shape, exhausted mentally and physically,” Russo said.
4.He Works at a Local Hospital With Huskins
The couple work together at Kaiser Permanente hospital with Huskins in Vallejo. Both are physical therapists. Huskins moved to Vallejo in June 2014 and started working at the hospital after previously working at a hospital in southern California.
Her father told the San Francisco Chronicle that things seemed to be going well with Quinn. A few days before she went missing, Huskins told her father, “Dad, I’m in love.”
5. Police Say Huskins & Her Boyfriend Led Them on a ‘Wild Goose Chase’
After an afternoon press conference where police declined to provide details of the investigation, many questions were left about what happened to Huskins. But police did say at the time they were still treating the investigation as a kidnapping for ransom.
The tone changed Wednesday night, when police sent out an updated press release saying “there is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all. Given the facts that have been presented thus far, this event appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping.”
Police originally said she was taken from the home at about 3:30 a.m. Monday and her boyfriend reported the kidnapping several hours later, at about 1:55 p.m. Monday. Huskins’ boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, told police a story that they “had trouble believing,” according to Lt. Kenny Park, a department spokesman. He said he told police the “kidnappers” had demanded an $8,500 ransom.
Park said there were 40 officers from his department, other agencies and more than 100 support staff dedicated to the search, which diverted attention and resources from “real victims.” Park said Huskins and her boyfriend owe an apology to the community.
He called the search a “wild goose case,” that led to a waste of resources for nothing.
Police said Huskins, who was with family in Huntington Beach, had promised to meet with Vallejo police, and the FBI arranged a jet to bring her to northern California. But Huskins has not met with police, has hired an attorney and “detectives have been unable to contact either Ms. Huskins or family members. … Detectives are unaware of her location.”
Police said “if evidence indicates that either Ms. Huskins or Mr Quinn committed a criminal act, the Vallejo Police Department will request either state or federal charges.”
Police said they’d “like to ensure the public that there is no indication that this was a random act of violence.”
The Chronicle newspaper reported Tuesday that it received an email that afternoon from someone claiming to be holding Huskins. The newspaper passed the communication on to police, but declined to publish details of the email.
Editor-in-Chief Audrey Cooper told CNN:
The Chronicle’s No. 1 priority is to get Ms. Huskins back with her family as soon as possible. Insofar as it helps ensure Ms. Huskins’ safety, we wish to keep that line of communication open, which is why, at this time, we will not release any additional information about the nature of the communication.
After Huskins was found safe, the Chronicle released an audio recording that was attached to the email the newspaper received.
In the audio, a woman identifies herself as Huskins, talks about the recent French Alps plane crash to establish the date and gives a personal detail about her self. She says in the recording “I’m kidnapped, otherwise I’m fine.”
In the email, the newspaper reports, the captors said Huskins would be returned safely on Wednesday. The email read:
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.
The newspaper played the recording for Huskins’ father and he confirmed it was her.