Four members of a Rowland Heights family suspected of kidnapping a woman for ransom and keeping her in foul conditions for two days without food or water pleaded not guilty Friday, according to officials.
An unidentified 44-year-old woman missed a bus after work Monday afternoon and was offered a ride home from a longtime coworker, 40-year-old Judith Maldonado, who had planned the kidnapping with her husband and two others, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
The kidnappers allegedly threatened to harm or kill the woman if a family member didn’t give them $110,000.
Several leads led detectives to a multiunit housing complex in Rowland Heights, where the victim was recovered Wednesday morning.
The woman, who had been bound and held captive in a dark and cluttered garage, was visibly dazed and tearfully hugged one of the detectives who freed her, the news release stated.
Francisco Inacua, 34, was at the garage when detectives arrived and was immediately arrested.
Inacua’s wife, Maldonado; his sister, 32-year-old Rocio Inacua; and Rocio Inacua’s common-law husband, 32-year-old Uziel Figueroa, were later arrested.
All four were charged with kidnapping for ransom and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and held on $2 million bail, according to the LASD.
They pleaded not guilty and face a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated.
The defendants never received the random, the DA added.
The victim was treated at a local hospital, and later released and reunited with her family.