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Criminal defense: 4 accused of California kidnapping

An individual person comes into contact with a variety of different people throughout his or her life. Many of these contacts are relatively insignificant, such as the cashier at the grocery store or a landlord who the person writes a check to but may otherwise have few interactions. However, these relationships can be meaningful, especially if a crime occurs; anyone who has come into contact with a victim could be a suspect and investigated regardless of the tenuousness of the relationship. One of the four people accused of kidnapping a woman in California is said to have an unknown relationship with the victim and lived in a building owned by the victim's son. The four people facing charges are likely now left determining how they will proceed with their criminal defense.

The victim is a 57-year-old woman. Reports indicate that her son received a text demanding a ransom and threatening to injure the woman if he notified police. While the exact amount of money requested is unclear, reports claim that it was under $100,000. The son reportedly drove to his mother's apartment where he discovered that her dog had been killed and she was missing.

Police have since arrested four people in connection with the alleged kidnapping. The victim has not yet been found, but police remain hopeful that she will be discovered alive. One of the defendants, a 26-year-old man, reportedly knew the woman prior to her disappearance, but the nature of their relationship is unclear. That same man is also said to have been a tenant in a building owned by the woman's son.

When a crime like this occurs, the community is typically desperate for answers. Because there is a serious concern for the safety of victims, California police must work quickly to solve such cases. While well-intentioned, this haste can result in mistakes and arrests and charges not supported by evidence. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help an accused individual to better understand one's legal options and help create a focused criminal defense.

Source:, "4 charged in kidnapping case as police hunt for 57-year-old victim", July 10, 2016

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