A day after Vallejo police said her kidnapping was a hoax, Denise Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn — who reported the kidnapping to police — fought back through their lawyers.
Huskins' attorney, Doug Rappaport, held a press conference late Thursday and said the alleged kidnapping is "no hoax" and not a "laughing matter."
Rappaport said Huskins spent Thursday at the Vallejo Police Department "with the hope of clearing her name because she is absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent, positively a victim."
"She was a victim of a very serious assault, and like a number of women who have been victims of serious physical and emotional assault she was initially hesitant and reticent to come forward," Rappaport said, adding Huskins was hesitant because she was accused of being a suspect.
Earlier in the day, Quinn's lawyers held a press conference stressing that their client was not involved in any kind of hoax.
Attorneys Amy Morton and Dan Russo told reporters that police had not provided "an iota" of evidence so far to show that the kidnapping was faked and that Quinn was a victim and had been drugged by kidnappers
The mysterious reported kidnapping for ransom took a new twist Wednesday night when authorities said 29-year-old Huskins, a physical therapist who has been living in Vallejo, and her family had disappeared after promising earlier to talk with police.
"Quinn cooperated fully with authorities, he spent almost 17 hours being interrogated and refused right to counsel," Russo said, adding that police seized his phone and computer.
"He provided fingerprints and clothes, and also signed a voluntary consent to search his residence," Russo said. "After interrogating him for 17 hours, they were going to release him in jail clothes, we brought clothes for him ... He has basically died and gone to hell. He is in terrible shape, physically and mentally."
Huskins, originally from Huntington Beach, was reportedly abducted Monday morning from her boyfriend's Vallejo home, police said. Huskins' boyfriend claims an intruder broke into his Mare Island home early Monday morning and took Huskins by force while demanding a ransom. But for some reason, her boyfriend waited 11 hours to report it to police.
When reporters asked why Quinn waited so long to report the kidnapping, Russo said "he was not only bound up, he was drugged," at the time the abduction took place. "He was forced to drink something and they told him he would have to pay $8,500," Russo said, adding that Huskins was returned after Quinn paid the money. Russo also said there was more than one kidnapper.
Still, Russo refused to detail what exactly happened according to his client.
Quinn's attorneys described him as a dedicated healthcare professional with no history of mental illness or criminal history. "He had a really good relationship with the woman kidnapped and his concern all this time was that this woman not be killed or hurt."
Huskins was found safe Wednesday morning when she suddenly turned up near her father's house in Huntington Beach, her family and police said. Both Huntington Beach and Vallejo police confirmed Wednesday that Huskins was back and said there was no reason to treat the case as anything else but a ransom and kidnapping situation. But on Wednesday night, Vallejo police said Huskins and Quinn have become the target of the investigation as police try to find out whether the couple were involved in anyhting illegal in connection to the kidnapping and bizarre ransom request of $8,500.
"Today, there is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all," Vallejo police said in a press release. "Given the facts that have been presented thus far, this event appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping."
Police said Huskins said she would speak with investigators but when the FBI arranged for a jet to bring her to Northern California she disappeared.
On Thursday, Quinn's attorneys said that it's unfair to speculate that the reason Huskins was not taking "is because she has some kind of motivation."
"If we have to depend on the FBI and the Vallejo Police Department to solve this kidnapping case, god help us," Russo said.
Lt. Kenny Park of the Vallejo Police Department told reporters that police are looking into state and federal charges in the case, adding that Huskins and Quinn sent the police on a "wild goose chase."
"The fact that we have wasted all these resources for really nothing, is disheartening," Park said.