The mystery surrounding the alleged kidnapping and ransom of 29-year-old Denise Huskins intensified Tuesday.
Vallejo police have called the March 23 incident an “orchestrated event” despite repeated claims by attorneys representing Huskins and her boyfriend that a kidnapping occurred.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it received an anonymous email from Huskins’ alleged abductors, demanding Vallejo police apologize by noon to Huskins for saying her purported ordeal was a hoax or “I/we may be the direct agent of harm.”
As of 2 p.m., Vallejo police did not report any significant incidents.
The newspaper has received a series of emails from Huskins’ alleged kidnappers since last week, when they sent an audio recording of a woman claiming to be Huskins, who at the time was still missing.
The Los Angeles Times has also received an email from an anonymous sender, but police declined to comment about the email, and its authenticity has not been verified.
The email includes a 19-page letter, in which the alleged kidnappers try to clear Huskins’ name by describing details about the reported abduction, as well as a series of auto thefts and burglaries in the area.
The anonymous sender wrote: “The Mare Island kidnapping was a training mission to test means and methods that would be used on higher net worth targets.”
The letter also described why the group asked for $8,500 in ransom.
“We chose $8,500 because it was below the $10,000 reporting threshold, and far enough below that it likely would not be flagged as part of a structured transaction under that prong of the reporting law,” the email read.
FBI spokeswoman Gina Swankie talked to The Times but declined to comment on the emails except to say the agency was aware of them.
When asked whether the alleged kidnapping was a hoax, Swankie said the agency doesn’t “have any conclusions.”
Investigators, she said, are still looking into the case.
From the start, Huskins’ boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, has insisted the kidnapping was real.
He told police Huskins had been “forcibly taken against her will” from his home between midnight and 5 a.m. March 23 and held for $8,500 ransom. He didn’t report her kidnapping until after noon because, his attorneys said, he was drugged and bound.
Quinn provided blood samples to prove he was drugged. He also gave authorities the passwords to his email accounts and was interrogated for 17 hours by the FBI and police, his attorneys said.
Two days later, Huskins turned up in Huntington Beach, where she said her kidnappers had dropped her off. The ransom, Quinn's attorneys said, was never paid.
That same day, authorities arranged a flight for Huskins to Northern California, so they could interview her. But she never got on the plane.
Hours later, Vallejo police announced they believed Huskins’ kidnapping was a hoax and had wasted valuable resources by sending officers on a "wild goose chase."
But Huskins' and Quinn’s attorneys say police got it wrong and that their clients were not lying.
Vallejo Police Department Lt. Kenny Park on Monday talked to The Times but declined to say whether the department still considered the kidnapping a hoax.
He said that there were no new details on the case and that he had “absolutely no idea” how long the investigation would take.
“At some point in the future, the picture will clear up for everyone,” Park said.
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