Suspect arrested in kidnapping that California police first thought was a hoax

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jul 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-14 13:34:04-04

The story of Denise Huskins' kidnapping was so unbelievable that police simply did not believe it.

Turns out, every word might be true.

The FBI announced on Monday that it had obtained an arrest warrant for Matthew Muller, 38, in the alleged kidnapping of a woman from a home in Vallejo, California.

The woman was not identified, but the facts of her case mirror what's known about Huskins' abduction.

On the afternoon of March 23, a male victim -- believed to be Huskins' boyfriend, Aaron Quinn -- called police to report that his home had been broken into, that he and Huskins were forcibly drugged and that his car was used to take Huskins to an unknown location.

She showed up days later at Huntington Beach, 400 miles away. When police went to talk with her, she disappeared again.

Vallejo police said then that they didn't believe Huskins or Quinn.

"We know that the statement Mr. Quinn provided was such an unbelievable story we initially had a hard time believing it and, upon further investigation, were not able to substantiate any of the things he was saying," Vallejo Police Lt. Kenny Park said at the time.

Park called the case a "wild goose chase" that wasted department resources.

But a June home invasion robbery in Dublin, California, might force police to rethink the case.

Muller was identified as a suspect in that case too, and authorities have found similarities between the June invasion and elements of the March kidnapping, the FBI said.

The agency urged anyone who believes they are the victim of a similar crime to contact the FBI. The case is ongoing.

"Today is a fabulous day. Nearly four months ago, we told you that Denise Huskins' was right -- that she was not only innocent of perpetrating a hoax, but that she was a victim of a very serious and violent crime. And today there is vindication," said Douglas Rappaport, her attorney.

"The Vallejo Police Department owes an apology to Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn," he told reporters at a press conference. "The individual or individuals who committed this offense were at liberty to continue on their crime spree, and in fact, did."

Both Huskins and Quinn appeared at the news conference. They held hands and did not speak.

Attempts to contact Vallejo police Monday for comment on the case were unsuccessful.