Police: Dad, daughter kidnapped woman, dumped her in desert
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A father and a daughter kidnapped a woman from a Las Vegas suburb and brought her to his house in Southern California, holding her captive for a week, raping her and then leaving her for dead in the desert, authorities said Friday.
Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton, 22, dumped the woman off a highway near Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles, where she was found by military personnel early Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Eduardo Hernandez said at a news conference.
“It’s a vicious case,” Hernandez said.
It’s not clear how long the woman in her 40s was in the desert or why she was released. She was left without food or water and was reportedly cold and suffering from exposure to the elements when she was found. She was treated at a hospital and released, Hernandez said.
While officials said Lawton and Poche-Lawton knew the victim, they didn’t provide a motive for the attack and said no ransom was demanded.
It was not clear if they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.
The father and daughter kidnapped the woman by gunpoint in North Las Vegas on Oct. 30 and took her to Lawton’s home in Palmdale, California, authorities said. They’re accused of keeping her in a room and sexually assaulting her on Sunday.
They also are accused of robbing her at ATMs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, court documents say, but authorities would not say how much money was stolen.
Lawton was arrested Wednesday, and his daughter was taken into custody early the next morning.
They each face charges of kidnapping to commit a robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping from outside the state, rape and three counts of first-degree ATM robbery, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Lawton and Poche-Lawton were being held on bail of $4.5 million and $3.5 million, respectively, the district attorney’s office said.
The case may be moved to federal court because the victim was taken across state lines. The FBI is investigating the abduction with Los Angeles County and North Las Vegas police.
North Las Vegas police were gathering information and didn’t immediately have comment. Air Force officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case was first reported by KNBC TV station in Los Angeles.
This story has been corrected to show authorities released information Friday.