Police: Man, daughter left woman for dead in California desert

Nov. 9 (UPI) — A woman in her 40s was held held captive in a home for one week and then “left for dead” in a California desert by a man and his daughter who knew her, officials said.

U.S. Air Force police officers found the unidentified victim Wednesday on the side of a road while conducting a “routine check” in the Antelope Valley Desert near the Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles. The woman had been in the desert for one day.

“She’s very lucky to be alive,” Capt. Eduardo Hernandez with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said at a news conference Friday.

The woman was cold, disoriented and suffering from exposure to cold. She was taken to a local hospital and released, Hernandez said.

Arrested on charges of kidnapping to commit robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping from outside the state, rape and three counts of first-degree ATM robbery were Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and his daughter Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton, 22.

Hernandez said the woman was kidnapped from a business in North Las Vegas on Oct. 30 and taken to Lawton’s home in Palmdale, Calif., according to the complaint. They were armed with semi-automatic handguns.

She was sexually assaulted and forced to withdraw money from her bank, according to the complaint.

After being in the home for one week, she was then “left for dead” in the desert without food or water, according to Hernandez.

“It’s a vicious case,” Hernandez told reporters. “It’s at gunpoint by force, that victim is then transported across state lines, held in a house inside a room for at least a wee

Lawton and Poche-Lawton are not related to her, Hernandez said.

Lawton was arrested on Wednesday and Poche-Lawton on Thursday.