A woman abducted from North Las Vegas and held for several days was rescued this week from the Antelope Valley desert, north of Los Angeles, where she had been beaten, bound with duct tape, and left to die, several law enforcement sources told NBC4.
Detectives from the LA County Sheriff's Department and FBI agents have arrested a father and daughter suspected of orchestrating the abduction and, what the sources said, was a clear attempt to murder the woman. The two were charged with multiple felonies Friday afternoon.
The victim was spotted and rescued Wednesday by U.S. Air Force police officers near the north gate of Edwards Air Force Base and was taken to a hospital. She suffered critical injuries. Her identity was not made public.
The sources said the woman was kidnapped from a business in Las Vegas last Friday and was held captive in Nevada, then in the trunk of a car, and finally at a location in Palmdale. The woman told detectives the kidnappers forced her to withdraw money from her bank account during the ordeal, and said she was repeatedly beaten and sexually assaulted.
The father and daughter, Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and Shaniya Poche Lawton, 22, were booked Wednesday and Thursday. Bail was set at $4.4-million for Stanley Lawton and $3.2-million for his daughter. Jail records show Stanley Lawton was expected to make an initial appearance in court Friday. Shaniya Lawton was scheduled to appear in court Nov. 12.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the two were charged with seven felony counts, including kidnapping to commit robbery, attempted murder, and forcible rape.
FBI agents served a search warrant at home in North Las Vegas linked to the Lawtons early Thursday, officials confirmed. They said the case might later be moved to federal court because the victim of the kidnapping had been taken across state lines.
Sources believe she was held for ransom.