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Father, daughter arrested in Palmdale in alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of woman

Kidnapping-Found in Desert
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Eduardo Hernandez takes question about an abducted woman at a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday.
(Associated Press )

A father and his daughter were arrested this week in Palmdale on suspicion of kidnapping a woman in Las Vegas, sexually assaulting her and leaving her to die.

Stanley Alfred Lawton and Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton each face charges of kidnapping to commit robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping from outside the state, forcible rape and three counts of first degree ATM robbery, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Military police found the disoriented woman near Edwards Air Force Base on Wednesday and she was taken to a hospital, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Las Vegas Police Department on the case.

“She was reported to be cold and was suffering from the elements,” Sheriff’s Capt. Eduardo Hernandez said in a media conference Friday afternoon.

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The woman, who is in her 40s, is believed to have been kidnapped at gunpoint from North Las Vegas on or about Oct. 30 and held for a week in Stanley Lawton’s home in Palmdale. She’s since been released from the hospital and is now back in Las Vegas.

Stanley Lawton, 54, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and his daughter, 22, early the next morning without incident. The victim knew her kidnappers, according to authorities, but the case “doesn’t seem to point to any type of revenge,” Hernandez said. There does not appear to have been a ransom.

Authorities believe they have the primary suspects, but the case is ongoing. Hernandez said it is unclear why the Lawtons released the woman.

The pair will be arraigned Tuesday in the Antelope Valley.

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“It’s a vicious case,” Hernandez said. “It’s at gunpoint, it’s by force — that victim is then transported across state line, held in a house inside of a room for at least a week. At some point she was sexually assaulted and then left for dead. ... She’s very lucky to be alive.”


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