Partially clothed kidnapping victim found in woods by group looking for Christmas tree

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REDDING, Cali. – A kidnapping victim was found partially clothed by a group of people who were looking for a Christmas tree.

The 25-year-old woman told investigators she was forcibly taken during the afternoon on November 26 by known acquaintances, Johanna Knighten, 33, and Fred Sanderson, 44.

The victim said Knighten drove her in a white van, and Sanderson physically assaulted her, holding her against her will. She told authorities the suspects believed she had stolen narcotics from Sanderson.

Fred Sanderson

When the suspects arrived at the remote location, the victim was forced to undress and then left alone wearing only a pair of shorts.

A press release states the victim did not know where she was, had no means of communication, and could find no way of summoning help.

She was “exposed to extremely cold temperatures, rain and snow.” She also “sought shelter in a burned out tree, drank water from a mud puddle, and survived through the night into the next day.

Several people who were looking for a Christmas tree found the victim.

On November 28, Knighten was located driving the white van in the downtown Redding area. Knighten was arrested without incident and booked on charges of kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy.

Sanderson is still being sought by law enforcement.

He is described as a white male, 6’2” tall, 250 puonds with short or shaved blonde hair and blue eyes.

Authorities are still investigating.


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