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'Gone Girl' Vallejo kidnapping suspect makes court appearance

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A disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney made his first court appearance Monday on a charge that he kidnapped a Vallejo woman in a case that police initially dismissed as a hoax. (KGO-TV)

A man accused of kidnapping a Vallejo woman appeared in federal court Monday to be arraigned on a complaint linking him to that crime.

Matthew Muller's attorney said Muller will plead not guilty.

Muller's family and friends looked on as the young man they knew as a high achiever, faced a federal complaint that could land him in prison the rest of his life.

"Obviously somebody that graduates from Harvard, that's an attorney, that survives four years in the Marines and the all of a sudden starts going sideways, there's something going on there," family friend Steve Reed said.

Reed said he's known Muller and his family since Muller was born. He said Muller's parents are shocked their son is the main suspect in the Vallejo kidnapping of Denise Huskins. "This is overwhelming to them and we're just at the very beginning of this whole thing," Reed said.

Muller's parents led investigators to his South Lake Tahoe home after Muller left a cellphone behind in a Dublin home invasion in June. He entered a no contest plea to that crime Friday at the Alameda County Superior Court.

Vallejo police had called the March kidnapping of Huskins a hoax, but when Dublin investigators found Muller in his South Lake Tahoe home, they also found evidence linking him to the kidnapping.

This is vindication for the couple Vallejo police had called liars.

Muller faces up to life in prison on the federal complaint. The judge decided he will remain fully shackled during court appearances.

"His whole family is pretty shaken up today, it is a very serious allegation and the consequences are extremely difficult for the family and for him," Muller's attorney Thomas Johnson said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 5.

Related Topics:
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