Police thought this 'Gone Girl'-like kidnapping was a hoax because the woman 'didn't act like a victim'

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FBI Says Real-Life Gone Girl Denise Huskins Was Telling Truth on Kidnapping

Local police offered a new explanation and nonapology for wrongly dismissing a kidnapping as a hoax of Gone Girl proportions: The woman — allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted by a man who is currently awaiting trial — "did not act like a kidnapping victim" when she reappeared.

In a July court filing, Vallejo, California, police detectives clarified their reasons for publicly discrediting Denise Huskins's story, appealing to a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed against the city and police department by Huskins and her boyfriend. Some of the detectives' explanations reportedly contradict FBI findings.

In March 2015, Denise Huskins was allegedly kidnapped for ransom from the house she shared with her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, who told police that the intruders came in the early morning, drugged them, tied him up, and vanished with Huskins. He was left wearing blackened swim goggles, with headphones playing threats placed over his ears. Police allegedly interrogated Quinn for 18 hours after he reported Huskins missing, accusing him of killing her and inventing the story.

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Matthew Muller, Denise Huskins, real life 'gone girl'
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Matthew Muller, Denise Huskins, real life 'gone girl'
This June 2015 booking photo released by the Dublin, Calif., Police Department, shows Matthew Muller after he was arrested on robbery and assault charges. On Monday, July 13, 2015, Muller was named as a suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman from Vallejo in March of 2015 that police originally believed was a hoax. (Dublin Police Department via AP)
This undated photo released by the Vallejo Police Department shows Denise Huskins. Police say Huskins, who was reported kidnapped from her boyfriend's San Francisco Bay area home and held for ransom, has contacted her father to say she's in the Southern California city of Huntington Beach. (AP Photo/Vallejo Police Department)
Members of the media gather at a location where a missing woman was found safe in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Denise Huskins whose boyfriend reported that intruders abducted her from their San Francisco Bay Area home and held her for ransom was found safe Wednesday at her father's Southern California home, police said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Members of the media gather Thursday, March 26, 2015, outside the apartment of Mike Huskins, father of Denise Huskins, where the woman reported missing Monday from Vallejo, Calif., was found safe Wednesday in Huntington Beach, Calif. Denise Huskins' boyfriend had reported that intruders abducted her from their San Francisco Bay Area home and held her for ransom. Police said late Wednesday that Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn concocted her reported abduction that spurred a two-day search. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
Members of the media gather Thursday, March 26, 2015, outside the apartment of Mike Huskins, father of Denise Huskins, where Denise Huskins, reported missing Monday from Vallejo, Calif., was found safe Wednesday in Huntington Beach, Calif. Denise Huskins' boyfriend had reported that intruders abducted her from their San Francisco Bay Area home and held her for ransom. Police said late Wednesday that Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn concocted her reported abduction that spurred a two-day search. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
A police officer stands at the location where a missing woman was found in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Denise Huskins whose boyfriend reported that intruders abducted her from their San Francisco Bay Area home and held her for ransom was found safe Wednesday at her father's Southern California home, police said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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After an intense two-day investigation involving dive teams and search dogs, Huskins reappeared apparently unharmed, over 400 miles south of Vallejo at her parents' home near Los Angeles. At a press conference, police called the story a hoax, a waste of resources, and claimed there was no evidence of an actual kidnapping: "If anything it is Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins that owes this community an apology," a lieutenant who has watched Gone Girl too many times said.

Four months later, the FBI found that a Harvard-educated former attorney, Matthew Muller, was likely the kidnapper. His trial is now scheduled for January. The city of Vallejo has since issued an official apology to Huskins and Quinn, according to People. Now, after Huskins and Quinn filed the federal lawsuit last March, recent statements from members of the Vallejo police department reveal why they dismissed the case and argue for protection under the First Amendment.

A retired police captain wrote that when Huskins reappeared wearing sunglasses and carrying luggage, she "did not act like a kidnapping victim" or cooperate with police, meaning authorities couldn't determine whether she had been kidnapped. Another investigator said Huskins "did not wish to speak with Huntington Beach police," choosing to speak with her lawyer instead. But the FBI's sworn statement shows Huskins did speak with Huntington Beach police, according to San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO-TV, and that behind those sunglasses Huskins had "darker impression circles" similar to marks left by swim goggles, which she said Muller had put over the couple's eyes. The police department's court filing also notes that Huskins refused an offer to fly her to Vallejo, where she could have met with authorities and seen her family.

In an interview with People, the couple's lawyer Kevin Clune called the reasoning "outrageous ... to think that in this day and age that a woman who has just been kidnapped has to act in a certain way in order to be believed by the police ... And if you don't act a certain way in a textbook understanding of what a victim is supposed to act like then they will go on national TV and destroy her reputation and call her a liar, and that happened here."

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