Woman was held captive, 'left for dead' in desert by a man and his daughter, police say

Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and his daughter, Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton, 22, were arrested on charges that include kidnapping and attempted murder.

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By Minyvonne Burke

A California father and his daughter are accused of kidnapping a Nevada woman, holding her captive for about a week, and then leaving her for dead in the desert.

The victim, who is in her 40s, was found Wednesday by U.S. Air Force police officers in the Antelope Valley Desert near the Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles.

She was cold, disoriented and suffering from exposure to the elements when she was found, Capt. Eduardo Hernandez with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said at a news conference Friday.

He said officers were conducting a "routine check" when they found her. "She's very lucky to be alive," he said.

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Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and his daughter Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton, 22, were arrested on charges of kidnapping to commit robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping from outside the state, rape and three counts of first-degree ATM robbery.

Lawton and his daughter kidnapped the woman on or about Oct. 30 from a business in Las Vegas, Hernandez said. They were armed with semi-automatic handguns, according to a criminal complaint. The victim was put in a car and taken to Lawton's home in Palmdale, California.

The woman was held in a room in the home for about a week where she was sexually assaulted and forced to withdraw money from her bank. She was then "left for dead" in the desert without food or water, according to Hernandez.

Hernandez said Lawton and Poche-Lawton knew the victim, but are not related to her. He told reporters he is not sure why the suspects released the victim.

The woman was taken to a hospital and has since been released, according to Hernandez.

"It's a vicious case," he said, adding that he doesn't know how long the woman was in the desert before she was found.

Lawton was arrested Wednesday at his home and is being held on $4.5 million bail. His daughter was arrested Thursday and is being held on a $1 million bail.

They both are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. Court records did not list an attorney for them.

Eric Leonard contributed.