Vallejo kidnapping survivors speak out on 'Tamron Hall Show' after release of Netflix series

"Reliving it is always a challenge, it always brings up a lot of deep pain from the past," said Denise Huskins.

Melanie Woodrow Image
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Vallejo kidnapping survivors speak out after release of Netflix series
Vallejo kidnapping survivors Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn spoke out on "Tamron Hall Show" after the release of Netflix series "American Nightmare."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The couple Vallejo police mistakenly said staged an elaborate kidnapping hoax appeared on "Tamron Hall Show" Monday to share their story. The 2015 ordeal is currently behind depicted in a Netflix docuseries.

In their first interview since "American Nightmare" was released on Netflix, Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn are re-telling their story involving the Vallejo Police Department.

"Reliving it is always a challenge, it always brings up a lot of deep pain from the past," said Denise Huskins.

In 2015, Matthew Muller broke into Quinn's Vallejo home - tying up, blindfolding and drugging the couple before kidnapping Huskins for ransom.

"The kidnappers told me if I called police they would kill Denise," said Aaron Quinn.

RELATED: Vallejo PD apologizes more than 6 years after calling kidnapping a hoax

When Quinn did call Vallejo police, Detective Mat Mustard interrogated him, believing he had killed Huskins.

"So now I get out my puzzle pieces and I start figuring out OK, how do I make it, so you look like a monster," said Detective Mat Mustard during the interrogation.

He was even accused of failing a lie detector test.

"You know where she is," said the FBI agent at the time.

I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: Vallejo police face new misconduct allegations in 'Gone Girl' kidnapping case

"I don't know where she is. I want you guys to find her," Quinn responded.

"They are trained to break you," said Tamron Hall during the interview.

"They're good at it, that's what they do," said Quinn.

"He was kidnapped too but by the police, cause they try to isolate you, they keep you from your family, they manipulate the environment and it's all geared towards breaking you," said Huskins.

RELATED: Survivors of Vallejo 'Gone Girl' case respond after police apologize for calling them liars

But when Muller released Huskins in Southern California shortly after the kidnapping, Vallejo Police changed their story, going on camera and asserting the couple had staged an elaborate kidnapping hoax.

"It is Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins that owe this community an apology," said then Vallejo Police Department Lt. Kenny Park.

"The fact that they went on national news so quickly just to destroy our reputations," said Huskins in the interview.

Their reputations smeared and possibly facing prosecution, the couple had a hero in the wings, then Dublin Police Detective Misty Carausu.

RELATED: Convicted Vallejo kidnapper will not cross examine his alleged rape victim

"I just knew that I was going to help her in some form of another," said Carausu, who has since been promoted to lieutenant with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Carausu took on the case after a similar thwarted home invasion in Dublin where Muller left behind his cellphone. Investigators used it to track him to South Lake Tahoe where they found evidence including Huskins' blonde hair on a pair of swim goggles.

"For two days, I believed that I would be killed and I had to make peace with the end of my life but at the same time, I had to keep fighting," said Huskins.

Muller is now serving a 40-year prison sentence for the kidnapping.

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