Woman kidnapped, raped, robbed and left for dead in desert

Woman kidnapped, raped, robbed and left for dead in desert
By: USA Posted On: November 09, 2019 View: 30

Woman kidnapped, raped, robbed and left for dead in desert

A woman was found cold but alive in a desert after being kidnapped, raped and robbed during a week-long ordeal, US police have said.

Father and daughter kidnappers snatched the victim, in her 40s, "at gunpoint" and "by force", said Captain Eduardo Hernandez, from Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

They transported the Las Vegas woman across state lines and held her "in a house inside a room for at least a week", he added.

"At some point, she was sexually assaulted and then left for dead," he said.

"It's a vicious case. She's very lucky to be alive."

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, Mr Hernandez said.

Military personnel found her early on Wednesday, without food and water and suffering from exposure. It is not clear how long she had been there.

More from California

Lawton was arrested on Wednesday, and his daughter was taken into custody early the next morning. Bail has been set at $4.5m (£3.5m) and $3.5m (£2.7m) respectively.

While they knew the victim, authorities have not given a motive for the attack. It is not clear why the woman was released, and there was no ransom demand.

Captain Eduardo Hernandez said it was a 'vicious case'
Image: Captain Eduardo Hernandez said it was a 'vicious case'

After kidnapping her, Lawton and his daughter took her to his home in Palmdale, California, authorities said.

They are accused of sexually assaulting her on Sunday.

Court documents allege they robbed her at ATMs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. How much money was taken has not been revealed.

After being treated in hospital, the victim has now returned to Nevada.

Lawton and Poche-Lawton 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, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

The FBI is investigating alongside Los Angeles County and North Las Vegas police.

Because the victim was taken across state lines, the case could be moved to a federal court.

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