Group Hunting For Christmas Tree Discovers Kidnapped Woman In Rough Shape

You can find the damndest things in the woods these days. We imagine that’s among the many sentiments that were going through the heads of a group of folks that were recently on the lookout for a Christmas tree in the Northern California woodlands.

They wound up finding a whole lot more than they bargained for. As the Daily Mail shares, they came across a partially clothed woman that had been the victim of a kidnapping.

The group was strolling around the woods near Hat Creek on their quest for a Christmas tree. We would imagine that the mood took a rather sour turn when they came across the woman, not to mention the fact that all parties involved must have been scared out of their mind.

Reports indicate that the 25-year-old woman was wearing nothing but a tattered pair of shorts when she was discovered. Help was quickly summoned, and the woman had quite a tale to tell police.

She explained to police that she had been hiding out in a dead tree and that she had to drink water from a puddle just to survive. The woman would go on to explain that she had been kidnapped, and she knew exactly who her captors were.

Johanna Knighten, 33, and Fred Sanderson, 44, were named as the responsible parties, but no motive has been established at this point. It’s speculated that the couple believed that she had stolen drugs from them, but that has not been confirmed as of yet.

The woman explained that Sanderson had assaulted her and that the pair had snatched her clothes before taking off and leaving her behind in the woods. Wintry temperatures abound in that neck of the woods these days, so it’s pretty remarkable that she didn’t suffer even more trauma than she did.

The woman was reportedly taken to the hospital, but there’s no word on her condition.

Knighten was tracked down and arrested, and she is now facing potential charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and conspiracy. Sanderson, who has an extensive rap sheet, remains at large, and it’s unclear if the local authorities have any viable leads to go on.

This is a rather incredible tale, and it’s made all the more interesting by the fact that the area has seen something rather similar before in a case that made national headlines.

The spot where the woman was found is not too far away from where Sherri Papini disappeared from back in November 2016. Papini was out jogging when she disappeared, and a massive manhunt ensued when it was discovered that she was missing.

She was discovered 22 days later by the side of the road. Papini was emaciated, shackled, and bruised up, and complete details of her abduction and release remain unclear to this day.

No word on whether the group headed back out into the woods to get a tree or not, but it sounds like it may be a good year for them to look into going the artificial tree route.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: YouTube, PxHere, Redding Police Department, Shasta County Jail, Bradley Gordon/Flickr, YouTube/Freedom from Government

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