'American Nightmare' couple in Vallejo kidnapping call for police reform

On the heels of the release of the Netflix series "American Nightmare," the couple at the center of a kidnapping and burglary that was initially deemed a hoax by Vallejo police are speaking out about their experience to law enforcement.

On Thursday, Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn plan to speak to police in Monterey County, describing the lessons learned after their experience with police and the FBI. The Seaside Police Department is hosting their inaugural training at a local hotel. 

KTVU crime reporter Henry Lee, who covered the case and is also featured in the Netflix docuseries, plans to live-blog the event on Thursday morning. 

(See live blog below and join us on Instagram Live at 3 p.m. to ask Henry Lee anything about the case.)

Here's the background on the notorious case. In March 2015, Quinn called Vallejo police saying that an intruder dressed in a wetsuit broke into his Vallejo home, tied him up and abducted Huskins.

From the start, police and the FBI were skeptical of his claims, trying to pressure him into admitting that he had killed Huskins and had made up an outlandish story to throw police off his trail. At one point, Lee received a "proof of life" audio with a woman identifying herself as Huskins and saying she had been kidnapped but was otherwise OK. It was later learned that Quinn and Huskins' father both confirmed the voice was that of Huskins.

Huskins turned up alive days later near her family's home in Southern California. Vallejo police labeled the whole thing a hoax. They said the couple led them on a wild goose chase. But someone claiming to be her kidnapper sent Lee a series of e-mails, saying he had in fact kidnapped her and that Vallejo police should be listening to her.

Eventually, a former Marine and lawyer, Matthew Muller, was convicted of kidnapping and raping Huskins. He assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe cabin before driving to Orange County, where he let her go. In 2022, he was sentenced to 31 years in prison on state charges for rape. In federal court, he received a 40-year sentence for the kidnapping.

Dublin police helped crack the case by identifying Muller as a suspect while they investigated a similar home invasion.

Huskins and Quinn sued Vallejo and were awarded $2.5 million.

If you can't see the blog, click here.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and www.facebook.com/henrykleefan