Crime - Sacto 911

Alleged kidnap of Vallejo woman now treated as hoax

Denise Huskins
Denise Huskins

A 29-year-old woman who had reportedly been kidnapped and held for ransom is missing again. But this time, police said late Wednesday, she’s gone off on her own in an effort to avoid questioning by detectives.

The elaborate reported kidnap of Denise Huskins, which allegedly began before the sun rose Monday with Huskins being taken from her Mare Island home, is now being investigated as one big hoax.

Police said they lost contact with Huskins after the woman told detectives she would be willing to submit to questioning about her alleged kidnapping. She hasn’t been heard from since.

The woman is believed to be somewhere in her hometown of Huntington Beach, where Huskins turned up alive Wednesday – dropped off, presumably by her alleged kidnappers – after two days of round-the-clock searching by local, state and federal investigators.

All told, Vallejo police spokesman Lt. Kenny Park said, more than 40 detectives and 100 support personnel were involved in the efforts to find Huskins and bring her home safely.

“(Huskins) plundered valuable resources away from our community ... while instilling fear in our community,” Park said. “We wasted all these resources on basically nothing.”

It was not immediately clear whether Huskins would face criminal charges at the state or federal level. No warrant was immediately issued for her arrest, though Park said two Vallejo detectives have been sent to Huntington Beach.

Family members, who had been in contact with police since Huskins allegedly disappeared Monday, have also fallen out of contact with police.

But her uncle, Jeff Kane, told The Bee late Wednesday that there are “valid reasons” why Huskins did not return to Vallejo to meet with detectives and that police jumped to conclusions.

“Detectives basically said that because we have not heard from Denise Huskins, we’re concluding the whole thing is a hoax,” Kane said. “That’s reckless police work. Either it’s incompetence or intentional misdirection at the expense of my niece and her family.”

Kane took issue with the fact that police largely based their conclusions on the interview with his niece’s boyfriend, and the only other eyewitness to the alleged crime, Aaron Quinn.

Quinn, with whom Huskins had been living, was brought in for questioning Wednesday and spun a tale so unbelievable that detectives began to doubt the kidnapping claims, Park said. Though Park declined to go into detail about what Quinn told police, he noted it turned on why it took Quinn several hours to call police after his girlfriend was allegedly taken from their home.

“That was the incredible part,” Park said.

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