Authorities have arrested a father and daughter who they say kidnapped and robbed a North Las Vegas woman at gunpoint, before driving her across state lines to California and holding her against her will.
Captain Eduardo Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crime Bureau announced during a press conference on Friday that Stanley Alfred Lawton and his 22-year-old daughter Shaniya Poche Lawton had been arrested and charged for their alleged connection to the abduction.
Hernandez said that Stanley, 54, and Shaniya knew the woman they allegedly kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint from the North Las Vegas area on or about Oct. 30th. He declined to share how the trio knew each other.
The father and daughter then drove the woman to Palmdale, California, where they allegedly held her against her will in a room inside a house for at least a week, sexually assaulted her, and then released her, leaving her for dead with no food or water.
During the kidnapping, the suspects also allegedly robbed her, though Hernandez refrained from discussing specific details.
It is not immediately clear if Stanley and Shaniya have obtained legal representation yet.
The investigation into the “vicious case” was launched earlier this week after the female victim was discovered by Military Police Officers in the north gate of Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, Hernandez said.
The woman was “in a disheveled state and in need of emergency medical attention” when officials found her, according to a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Hernandez also noted in the press conference that the woman, who is in her 40s, had been “suffering from the elements” and was “lucky to be alive” after the traumatic encounter.
She was immediately transported to a local hospital and medically treated.
Shortly after her discovery on Wednesday, Stanley was arrested. His daughter was taken into custody on the following day, according to inmate records obtained by PEOPLE.
Jail records indicate that bail was set at $1 million for Stanley and he was scheduled to appear in court on Friday. As for Shaniya, her bail was also set at $1 million, with a court appearance scheduled for Nov. 12.
Stanley is currently being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, while Shaniya is at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that the pair 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, according to NBC 4 and KTLA.
As the Sheriff’s Department works with the FBI and the North Las Vegas Police Department, Hernandez said the suspects may face federal prosecution since they allegedly transported the woman across state lines.
Hernandez also added that the investigation is ongoing and while they have two primary suspects, they are looking into whether Stanley and Shaniya had any accomplices.
He said, at this time, the alleged abduction “doesn’t seem to point to any type of revenge.”
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at (213) 229-1700. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.
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