Local News

Sunday, Oct 21 2012 08:17 PM

Kidnapping suspects sought

By STAFF AND WIRE REPORT

Authorities are searching for a pair of suspects in the kidnapping of two Newport Beach residents who were later found bound, beaten and cut in the Mojave Desert in eastern Kern County.

Newport Beach Police Sgt. Todd Hughes said Sunday that one suspect was arrested Oct. 6 in connection with the abduction. Thirty-three-year-old Kyle Shirakawa Handley faces charges including kidnapping for ransom and torture.

Hughes says a 53-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were forcibly taken from their Balboa Peninsula home on Oct. 1. The next day they were found in the desert by Kern County Sheriff's deputies. The woman was restrained with zip ties. The man, also bound with zip ties, had been beaten and severely cut.

The Los Angeles Times cites court documents that say the man's penis was partially severed.

Detectives believe the kidnapping was a targeted attack motivated by money.

Kern County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dennis Smithson said Sunday that while the victims were found in Kern County, in the vicinity of Rosamond, the investigation is being handled by Newport Beach authorities.

"Cases of serious bodily injury tend to be investigated by our homicide detectives, but we found out pretty quickly the case did not originate here," Smithson said. "It wasn't our investigation.

"But I remember it," he said. "It was quite unusual."

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