Alleged kidnapper sought after Redding woman found partially clothed, assaulted

REDDING (KRON) — Authorities in Shasta County are looking for an alleged kidnapper after a woman was found partially clothed and left to die.

Redding Police Capt. Eric Wallace says a group searching for a Christmas tree found the 25-year-old woman Monday in a rural wooded area east of Eskimo Hill near Hat Creek in Shasta County.

Wallace says the woman sought shelter in a burned-out tree, drank water from a mud puddle and was exposed to extremely cold temperatures, rain and snow.

She was transported and admitted to a Redding area hospital, her identity is being withheld at this time.

The woman told police she was forcibly taken a day earlier from the area of Mistletoe Lane and Victor Avenue in Redding by two acquaintances, 44-year-old Fred Sanderson and 33-year-old Johanna Knighten.

The victim told police that Knighten drove her in his white van. She was then physically assaulted and held against her will by Sanderson.

She said they kidnapped her because the suspects believed she had stolen drugs from Sanderson.

Police said when they arrived at a remote location, about 6 miles from Highway 44, she was forced to undress and left wearing only a pair of shorts.

Police arrested Knighten and booked him into the Shasta County Jail on charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and conspiracy.

Sanderson is still outstanding and is being sought by law enforcement. He is described as a white male, 6’2” tall, 250 pounds with short or shaved blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding this crime or the location of Sanderson, is asked to contact the Redding Police Department at (530)225-4200.

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