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Suspect In Dublin Home Invasion Charged In Vallejo Kidnap Case Once Called 'Wild Goose Chase'

VALLEJO (CBS SF) -- A man has been charged in connection to a bizarre Vallejo kidnapping case that authorities had once written off as a hoax.

Matthew Muller, 38, of unincorporated Orangevale in Sacramento County, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Sacramento on June 29 with one count of carrying out a kidnapping between March 23 and 25.

The one-page complaint and accompanying 56-page affidavit were unsealed Monday, adding support to claims by Denise Huskins and her boyfriend that she was, in fact, kidnapped.

The FBI said Muller was arrested following an attempted Dublin home invasion robbery last month which it said had similarities to the Vallejo kidnapping.

Police said in that incident, one of the victims managed to fight back and in the struggle Muller lost his cellphone. "When he left, he left his cellphone. And that's how we traced him to the home invasion," said Dublin Police Lt. Herb Walters.

Muller was arrested at his mother's home in South Lake Tahoe on June 8th. The FBI affidavit said he is a former Marine and an attorney who attended Harvard Law School and cited California State Bar records showing he was disbarred from law practice in 2015.

Huskins went missing from her Vallejo apartment on March 22. Search crews along with dozens of detectives, search teams, divers and dogs canvassed the marshland of Mare Island and following leads.

Three days after her alleged abduction, the Huntington Beach Police department notified police in Vallejo that Huskins had been located and would return home safely.

Denise Huskins, Aaron Quinn
Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn stand behind attorney Douglas Rappaport during a press conference, July 13, 2015. (CBS)

Shortly after, the Vallejo Police Department released a statement indicating that there was no evidence to support the claim by Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, that she was kidnapped from the Vallejo home they shared - citing several red flags arose concerning the sequence of events. Lt. Kenny Park said at the time that investigators were led on a "wild goose chase."

However, in an affidavit unsealed Monday, FBI Special Agent Jason R. Walter cites evidence against Muller that ties him to what he says was indeed an actual kidnapping.

The affidavit does not refer to Huskins or her Quinn, by name. But the details of the alleged kidnapping match the claims by made by Huskins and Quinn to Vallejo Police, including that the kidnappers forced Huskins to tie up and that Quinn was given a sedative, which delayed his call to police.

On Monday both Huskins and Quinn along with their family members appeared at a press conference, with their attorneys saying that word of the FBI's arrest warrant againt Muller was vindication for their clients who were telling the truth all along.

Huskins' attorney, Douglas Rappaport, said Vallejo police not only owed Huskins an apology, but owed everyone an apology for allowing a kidnapper to roam free while publicly accusing their clients of lying.

The kidnappers "were at liberty to continue on their crime spree and in fact did," Rappaport said. Rather than properly investigate the case, Vallejo police investigators re-victimized Huskins, he said.

Quinn's attorney, Daniel Russo, said at this point an apology "is no good" and said Vallejo police should not work earnestly to find the other kidnappers.

"What I want Vallejo police to do is to do their job. Go out, find out if there's other guys, get them in custody as soon as possible," and make sure next time they think before they talk, Russo said.

The statements by Vallejo police alleging the two made up the story has led to them being questioned relentlessly both publicly and personally, including by employers and potential employers, the attorneys said.

Neither attorney would comment on wither they would seek civil damages against Vallejo police, saying they were both criminal defense lawyers and would not be involved in a civil case.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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