By: Robert A. Bianchi, Esq.:

This story has many more facts that we need to know. It seems clear that this was not an abduction. As stated in the segment, however, police and prosecutors need to go slow and not jump to any conclusions, even though they know that the abduction story was a fake. What belies common sense at this point, however, is that the ransom was so low; that the ransom was not paid and she was released; that she was released 400 miles away, but yet, blocks from her parents’ home(s); that a follow-up email after her “release” (and purportedly from the abductors) states that we in the public and media should all believe she was abducted and that she is being wrongly maligned in the news. These facts supporting abduction are simply unbelievable from a standpoint of common sense, as the idea that kidnappers and abductors would attempt to vindicate the honor of their victim and making catching them easier.

But, through many years as a New Jersey Prosecutor and New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, one needs to look at other motives for all of this, even though the abduction seems to be concocted. I have actually handled cases where people accused of crimes like this were actually bribed or threatened to commit a crime by others for reasons varying to a cover-up for infidelity, gambling debt issues, drug debts, and the like.

Once these people were caught, almost all lied to protect themselves from an embarrassing situation, but eventually when confronted with irrefutable evidence, told us the real story how they were forced to do something like these two people in this story. Of course, this makes them seem more like a victim, as opposed to a criminal. Embarrassing perhaps, but it is better to be honest at this point, as there is a lot of time to think about all of this and be embarrassed when you are in jail for being dishonest to law enforcement once the “jig” is up.

A careful Criminal Defense Attorney should be very artful at this juncture to position the client in a way that puts their client in the best light possible, and denial, if they are guilty, is the wrong approach. It only exacerbates an already bad situation.

Many more facts in this case are needed, and we will see where it goes from here. To me, one thing is clear – there is a lot more to this story than has yet to come out.