California police have arrested a woman and accused her of kidnapping an acquaintance, stripping her and leaving her outside in the cold, according to CBS News.
Johanna Knighten, 33, was taken into police custody on November 28 and charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, and conspiracy. She is alleged to have performed these acts with a conspirator, 44-year-old Fred Sanderson. He is still at large.
The victim, who has has not been publicly identified, is 25 years old and reportedly told authorities that the duo kidnapped her because they thought she had stolen drugs from them. After being taken against her will, Knighten and Sanderson allegedly assaulted her and forced her to strip in the woods, where she narrowly survived the harsh elements.
The woman reportedly managed to find shelter inside the trunk of a burned out tree. She was discovered Monday by a family searching for a Christmas tree in the remote area.
She told authorities that she quenched her thirst by drinking puddle water and avoided freezing to death inside of the tree, as reported by The Sun. The woman survived for more than a day before being rescued.
Redding Police Captain Eric Wallace confirmed the victim’s account, telling reporters that she survived “extremely harsh temperatures,” according to USA Today.
Sanderson is described as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and 250 pounds with short or shaved blond hair and blue eyes.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect is encouraged to call the Redding Police Department at 530-225-4200.
[Featured Image: Redding Police Department]