Traffic stop in Ukiah leads to discovery of kidnapping victim; suspects arrested
PHOTOS: Mendocino County Sheriff
UKIAH — A recent traffic stop for vehicle code violations led to the arrests of two people on suspicion of kidnapping.
Just after 11:30 PM on Saturday, September 14, Mendocino Sheriff’s Deputies pulled over a vehicle on the 1300 block of North State State for numerous vehicle code violations and found that the driver, 33-year-old Thao Vang of Sacramento, had an active felony warrant for his arrest out of Butte County.
He was arrested without incident.
His passenger, 34-year-old Christine Maxwell of Marysville, was also detained at the scene.
But it was the discovery of the passenger in the back seat that escalated the situation to much more serious territory.
This passenger, a 34-year-old woman whose name has not been released, was very visibly upset, shaking, and crying, and had bruises on her body.
She told deputies she’d been kidnapped in Sacramento four days ago and, while held against her will at another residence, had been continually abused and raped by Vang.
Deputies were able to find evidence corroborating her account, and the case was turned over to Sheriff’s Investigators, as well as investigators from the Major Crimes Task Force and Detective Unit.
Vang now faces charges of kidnapping, rape, false imprisonment, and conspiracy, in addition to his warrant. He is housed at the Mendocino County Jail on $175,000 bond.
Maxwell, for her part, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and conspiracy, for which she was booked at the same location on $100,000 bond.