VALLEJO, CA — The California couple who were falsely accused of making up a kidnapping that drew comparisons to the novel Gone Girl three years ago have spoken out for the first time in an interview with Good Morning America.
Denise Huskins, 32, was staying the night at her 33-year-old boyfriend, Aaron Quinn’s, apartment in Vallejo on March 23, 2015, when the couple says they were woken up by a group of men. Huskins said her kidnappers repeatedly raped her over the next two days before releasing her.
The couple claims that when Huskins reported to the Vallejo Police Department what had transpired, they accused them of lying. The department was later forced to apologize when one of Huskins’ captors, a Harvard-educated former lawyer named Matthew Muller, was caught during another kidnapping attempt.
After detaining Muller, police found strands of Huskins’ hair attached to swimming goggles he had put on her to cover her eyes — and more of her DNA in his car. Muller later told prosecutors he has bipolar disorder and was taking medication at the time of the kidnapping. Nevertheless, Muller is serving a 40-year prison term for the kidnapping.Both Huskins and Quinn believed that there was more than one man involved in the abduction, but no other suspects have been identified. At least one report states that Muller played a recording while the couple was blindfolded that made it seem as if there were other men with him.
In the GMA interview, Huskins described the horror of waking up to find the kidnappers in the dark room with her and her boyfriend:
“I remember thinking that this is a really bad nightmare. I don’t like this. The voice kept saying over and over again, ‘Wake up, this is a robbery, we’re not here to harm you.'”
Her abductor flashed a light in her eyes, asked Quinn to turn over and put his hands behind his back, and forced her to tie him up. The kidnappers then told Quinn that they would need two installments of $8,500 in order to release Huskins before leaving and taking her with them.
Quinn says that when he went to police, he was met with suspicion from the very beginning. He related that he was prepared to answer questions about his girlfriend’s disappearance, since he was the last one to see her, but insists that police began accusing him of killing her.
Meanwhile, Huskins was being held and raped for two days. In an attempt to humanize herself to her abductor, Huskins said she shared the fact that she was molested as a child. Despite this, she said, her kidnappers sexually assaulted her. After two days, they let her go. On March 25, 2015, Vallejo Police Lieutenant Kenny Park labeled the couple liars and said they should both apologize to the community for “wasting resources.”
Additionally, the couple also suffered being bombarded by abusive social media messages, insulting them and accusing them of lying about their ordeal.
Quinn and Huskins, who plan to get married in September, say they did receive a private letter of apology after Muller was arrested for the crime. The police reportedly claimed they would make that apology public after finishing the investigation — but have so far failed to do so. The couple sued for defamation, and last week settled the case for $2.5 million.
Police have said they will not comment until the settlement is completely finished.
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Main photo: Denise Huskins [Vallejo Police Department]