A Harvard-educated lawyer and former Marine has been charged in the mysterious “Gone Girl” kidnapping case that police had initially accused a couple of staging.
Matthew Muller, 38, was arrested in connection with the March 23 kidnapping of Denise Huskins after authorities noticed similarities to a separate home invasion last month in Dublin, California. Muller was already in custody on charges stemming from that incident.
Police initially called the kidnapping a hoax. Huskins’ boyfriend Aaron Quinn reported in March that kidnappers had broken into the couple’s Vallejo, California, home and taken Huskins, demanding $8,500 in ransom.
Quinn claimed that he woke up to a bright light in his face. Two kidnappers then bound and drugged him before taking Huskins and leaving a ransom note in her place.
But then Huskins turned up two days later, dropped off in her hometown of Huntington Beach, hundreds of miles away from Vallejo, the Associated Press reports. She showed up just hours before the ransom was due and appeared to be unharmed.
Police called a press conference and declared the couple’s claims a hoax, saying there was no evidence to support that anything had happened. However, the couple remained adamant that they were telling the truth, KCRA reports.
The FBI then began investigating Muller in connection to the Vallejo case after he was arrested last month. Investigators pointed out that a laptop they found in Muller’s possession during his arrest was remarkably similar to one that was taken from Quinn’s home.
A search of a stolen car showed that Muller was in possession of other items unique to the couple, including a water gun with a flashlight and laser pointer on it. A picture of that very item had been emailed to a newspaper by people claiming responsibility for Huskins’ abduction.
A warrant was then issued for Muller’s arrest in connection with the kidnapping.
Huskins and Quinn hosted a news conference in Vallejo Monday afternoon, where their lawyers said the couple want an apology and “real action” from the Vallejo Police Department. For now, Vallejo police are not commenting on the case.
The couple have not yet commented on whether they will take legal action against the police department, but their current lawyers have referred them to other counsel who could help them.
“Our real concern is protecting them,” said Quinn’s lawyer Daniel Russo on Good Morning America Tuesday, adding that he feels sorry for others who were victimized by Muller. “If [authorities had] followed up [with Quinn and Huskins], those people in Dublin who were subject to a home invasion, that never would have happened.”
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