Kidnap, abuse alleged in Moke Hill

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

Two Mokelumne Hill women were arrested Friday after allegedly kidnapping a 69-year-old woman last week, according to the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office.

At approximately 3 p.m. Nov. 11, Martha Sue Looney, 71, and her daughter, Debra Ann Mendoza, 49, allegedly contacted the woman at her Mokelumne Hill home and offered to fix her hair and makeup.

While at her house, the suspects reportedly became "pushy" and ransacked her prescription medicine.

Looney and Mendoza then told the victim, whose name was not released, they were going to take her to their house on the 20000 block of Smith Road to fix her hair.

Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Hewitt said the victim lived about a mile away from the suspects' home and knew who they were.

He said reports did not indicate whether the victim regularly had contact with them.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the woman left in the vehicle with the suspects and, while enroute, they told her they were going to take her "somewhere safe."

They allegedly covered the woman with a sheet while she sat in the back seat, and dropped her off at a medical complex in Jackson.

The woman received a ride home from a medical office employee but did not tell the employee about the alleged kidnapping because she was scared and confused, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office responded two days later, about 11:40 a.m., after receiving a report about a possible kidnapping.

The women were arrested at their home and taken to the Calaveras County Jail.

Looney was booked on suspicion of felony charges of elder abuse, kidnapping, first degree burglary, conspiracy to commit crime and false imprisonment, according to sheriff's booking logs.

Mendoza was booked on suspicion of elder abuse and false imprisonment.

Looney posted $15,000 bail but Mendoza was still in custody Monday afternoon. Her bail was set at $23,750.

Looney, reached by phone this morning, claimed the incident was "blown out of proportion."

"I cannot believe it," Looney said. "I swear I will never help another person other than my family members."

11884336
The Union Democrat
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