A San Francisco Bay Area woman reported kidnapped for ransom earlier this week inexplicably reappeared alone and unharmed on Wednesday in Southern California, where she was questioned by police and turned over to family members, police and the FBI said.
Denise Huskins, 30, was reported by her boyfriend on Monday afternoon to have been forcibly abducted hours earlier from his home in the East Bay city of Vallejo, launching an intense search by local law enforcement and the FBI, police said on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Huskins turned up in the Orange County coastal town of Huntington Beach, about 35 miles south of Los Angeles, but the circumstances of her reappearance remained murky, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles.
“She was found and appears to be safe, and the FBI and other departments in Orange County are assisting police in Vallejo with their continuing investigation,” Eimiller told Reuters.
A police spokeswoman told reporters outside a small apartment complex in Huntington Beach that investigators had questioned the woman there for two hours before releasing her to family members, who took her away to an undisclosed location.
Huskins’ father is a resident and manager of the apartment, according to neighbors. Police investigators earlier were seen going in and out of a house elsewhere in town listed as belonging to Huskins’ mother.
Broadcaster KTVU quoted Huskins’ uncle as saying the woman had called her father earlier on Wednesday and said she was OK and had been dropped off in Huntington Beach, her hometown.
Vallejo police said they were informed on Wednesday morning by Huntington Beach police that Huskins had been located and that Vallejo detectives were making travel arrangements in order to “meet with Ms. Huskins to further piece together the details of the kidnap for ransom.”
The search for Huskins had extended on Tuesday from the shore of San Francisco Bay, where divers searched the waters near Vallejo, to a wooded area near the boyfriend’s home.
Police said on Tuesday that the boyfriend was not considered a suspect, but they did not explain why he might have waited several hours to report Huskins’ abduction.
Huskins had recently moved to Vallejo and was working as a physical therapist at a hospital, according to her Facebook account. Neighbors told the San Francisco Chronicle she had been living with her boyfriend, who police have not publicly identified.
SOURCE: Reuters, Daina Beth Solomon