One person is in custody and another is being sought in the kidnapping of a Redding woman who was found partially clothed in a rural wooded area of Shasta County on Monday.
The victim, a 25-year-old woman whose name has not been released, was found by several people who were looking for a Christmas tree east of Eskimo Hill near Hat Creek, according to a Redding Police Department news release. The woman was suffering from exposure and was transported to a Redding-area hospital.
Police said the woman told investigators that she was forcibly taken from the area of Mistletoe Lane and Victor Avenue in Redding on Sunday afternoon by two acquaintances, identified as Johanna Knighten, 33, and Fred Sanderson, 44, both of Redding. The victim told authorities that Knighten drove her in Knighten’s white van, and that she was physically assaulted and held against her will by Sanderson.
The victim told investigators that Knighten and Sanderson believed she had stolen narcotics from Sanderson, the news release said.
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When they arrived at a remote location about 6 miles from Highway 44, the victim was forced to undress and was left wearing only a pair of shorts. She did not know where she was, had no means of communication or any way of finding help, according to police.
The woman was exposed to extremely cold temperatures, rain and snow, the news release said. She took shelter in a burned-out tree and drank water from a mud puddle before she was rescued the following day.
Knighten was found Tuesday driving the van in the downtown Redding area and was arrested without incident, according to the news release. She was booked into the Shasta County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy.
Sanderson is still being sought. He is described as white, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing 250 pounds, with short or shaved blond hair and blue eyes..
Anyone with information regrading the case or Sanderson’s location is asked to call the Redding Police Department at 531-225-4200.