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Crime Blotter: Scary Kidnapping & Double Homicide

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Oops. Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover
A 35-year-old woman was kidnapped yesterday afternoon as she left her nurse's job at a patient's house near Vanowen and Whitsett in North Hollywood. A few hours later she was abandoned in the backseat of her car, still alive and bound with duct tape, in the parking lot of the Los Angeles Valley College, near Fulton Avenue and Burbank Boulevard.

During the kidnap, she was stripped and burned with cigarettes. Finally able to get a hold of her cell phone, she called police and described landmarks to the dispatcher until police figured out the general area she was in and then pursued a game of "hot and cold" using the noise of police sirens.

Prior to her release, one kidnapper called the woman’s roommate, a man who is also the woman’s brother-in-law. The kidnapper told the roommate that he had kidnapped the roommate’s “wife” out of revenge for the roommate having an illicit affair with the kidnapper’s wife.

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“Turns out, the kidnappers mistook their victim for the roommate’s wife, not knowing the roommate and the wife were estranged,” LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon explained. “This may explain why the kidnappers released the woman. Despite being a mistaken identity, don’t call this bungled. This is a very serious crime.”

Not So Happy New Year
On New Year's Eve morning at the 700 block of South Harvard Boulevard, two men broke into the apartment of Raul Cruz and family at 4:15 a.m. Cruz, 31, tried to fight off the men, but one of the intruders fatally shot him and his 17-year-old daughter, Jessica Siriano. The mother was wounded, but remains in critical condition in the hospital.

More details can be found at LAPD's blog.