The FBI announced Monday that Matthew Muller, a disbarred Harvard-trained lawyer and former marine, has been arrested in the "Gone Girl"-like kidnapping case of Denise Huskins, who was abducted in March from her house in Vallejo, California, but returned safely later. Local police earlier believed the case -- registered as a complaint by Huskins’ boyfriend Aaron Quinn -- was a hoax.
Quinn had told Vallejo police officials that the two were forcibly drugged on March 23, after which Huskins was taken to an unknown location in Quinn's car by the kidnapper, CNN reported. Huskins’ kidnapper had demanded $8,500 as ransom but two days later she was seen at her father’s house in Huntington Beach, 400 miles away. When police officials reached the place to talk to her, she reportedly went missing again.
Police officials initially called the case a “wild goose chase” that wasted department resources, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The authorities even threatened the couple that they could face legal charges if they were found lying.
"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, according to CNN.
The case looked very similar to the movie “Gone Girl,” which showed character Amy Dunne, played by Rosamund Pike, faking her own kidnapping. Huskins had initially claimed that she was not harmed or sexually assaulted, but in later interviews with detectives, she said she was sexually assaulted and filmed twice, the New York Daily News reported. Her medical tests, however, did not show any evidence of physical non-consensual sex.
Muller, 38, is also a suspect in a June home robbery in Dublin, located in California’s East Bay region. Authorities have found similarities between the two cases, the FBI reportedly said. The victims in Dublin fought back, forcing the attacker to flee. However, the person reportedly left behind a cellphone that had an address linked to Muller.
"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," Douglas Rappaport, Huskins’ attorney, said Monday at a press conference, according to CNN. "The Vallejo Police Department owes an apology to Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn."
Muller, who is currently being held for $380,000 bail, faces charges of first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and felony robbery, the New York Daily News reported.