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A Woman in a 'Disheveled State'; a Father and Daughter Arrested

Police say father and daughter kidnapped acquaintance, left her to die
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2019 3:33 PM CST
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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Eduardo Hernandez takes question about an abducted woman during a news conference in Los Angeles, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.   (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)

(Newser) – Military police officers at California's Edwards Air Force Base called in multiple police departments and the FBI after finding a woman "in a disheveled state and in need of emergency medical attention" Wednesday, per a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office press release. Now, a father and his 22-year-old daughter have been charged in the case. Police say Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and Shaniya Poche Lawton knew the victim, and they allegedly robbed her at gunpoint in the North Las Vegas area and then abducted her, bringing her to Palmdale, California, in the trunk of a car on or around Oct. 30, People reports. The father and daughter allegedly held her against her will in a room inside a house for at least a week, sexually assaulted her, beat her, bound her with duct tape, then left her with no food or water in the cold Mojave Desert, KTLA reports.

Police say she was "suffering from the elements" and was "lucky to be alive" when she was found; they accuse the Lawtons of leaving her to die. The victim, who is in her 40s, was transported to a nearby hospital with critical injuries but has since been released. Stanley Lawton was arrested shortly thereafter at his Palmdale home. His daughter was arrested the next day. Police are still investigating whether they had any accomplices, and, per CNN, they say there is "a lot of stuff" left to sort out. Both father and daughter face charges of kidnapping to commit robbery, kidnapping from outside the state, attempted murder, forcible rape, and three counts of first-degree robbery involving ATMs; they may face federal prosecution since they allegedly transported the victim across state lines, NBC 4 reports. (Read more abduction stories.)

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