♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, inside the nightmare, she was accused of her own abduction. >> the police didn't believe me because i wasn't bruised and beat up. >> the woman some call the real life "gone girl" sharing details of all too real kids nap alleged sexual assault. >> with her kidnapper in custody. what she's saying to police now. plus puerto rico rising, six months after hurricane maria, back on the island, american families determined to rebuild. >> do you want to stay here is this. >> i want my house back. >> signs of hope. i critical bridge once destroyed
now paving the way for progress to come. first the "nightline" five. >> get ready for spring-at the ross spring shoe event. ross has the must-have styles and brands for a fraction of what you'd pay elsewhere. step one: get to ross. step two: walk out with top brands at big savings... ...at the ross spring shoe event.
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kidnapping and sexual assault. the story is so bizarre police accused her of making it up. now with the kidnapper in custody, the truth is finally coming out. >> the voice kept saying over and over again, wake up, it had is a robbery. we're not here to harm you. >> it was exactly three years ago ago erin quinn and denise woke up to their worse nightmare. the couple sound asleep at home in vallejo, california when in the dead of night intruders broke in. denise was drugged, kidnapped and eventually raped. her boyfriend said authorities initially suspected him. >> everything they accused me and said they didn't believe me. >> two days later denise unexpectedly reappears 400 mile
as way in southern california and they declared the kidnap a hoax. >> they have pulled valuable resources away from our community. >> my wife disappeared three days ago. >> she was dubbed the "gone girl" after the film woman who staged her own disappearance. what sounded like a hollywood screen play was a very real night mare. they say men swarm their home one come in barking orders. >> he said you will tie his hands behind his back and feet together and he was encouraging me saying you're doing a good job, continue. >> that night aaron and denise are in a closet with zip ties and blind folded and head phones over their ears and forced to chug a cocktail which was a powerful sedative. >> we were helpful at that
point. >> aaron hears a voice in his head phones threaten forget he resisteds will cut her face. a subdued denise is stashed in the trunk of a car drink three hours to south lake tahoe where she says she's sexually harrassed and they leave aaron behind demanding two payments of $8500 they knew exactly what he could afford. >> if they asked for $1 million i'd have to go to the police. >> it is an agonizing decision but ten hours his home invaded and girlfriend abducted aaron makes what he says is the toughest call of his life, he dials 911 knowing he is gamblin >> before i hit 911 i was thinking i might be killing her. >> as of this moment, miss
huskins wearabouts are unknown and treating this matter as a kidnap rans yoomom. >> she's been kidnapped and possibly held for rand some. >> she is kept sedative during much of her time and is now speaking openly. >> he raped you? >> yeah. >> she says he recorded the rape on camera but didn't like the way it looked so he did it again. >> he decided to tape my eyes shut, saying that the recording will just look like your eyes are shut and this time we have to kiss. >> she says he told her his gang was making him do it planning to use the video against her if she ever went to police. >> was supposed to look like it was consent you'll like we were in a relationship. >> meanwhile aaron was desperately trying to convince authorities he had nothing to do
with her disappearance. >> they is put me in clothes. >> treated you like a criminal. >> yeah. >> they believed he made up the kidnapping story. two nights after she was taken, something unexpected, drugging her again, her captainor put her in the car and announces he will set her free. >> told me he would drag me to south rn california. >> your hometown. >> yeah. the whole time i was like you're going to kill me. i know you are. he's like no that's not the plan. >> they drive all night and she's 400 miles away in her hometown huntington beach, california. >> police say it was an orchestrated hoax. >> denise being the orchestrator of this hoax. >> the lieutenant at the police department fullback lipublicly the victims.
>> we have tremendous amount of resources in my opinion was wasted. if anything it is mr. quinn and miss huskins that owes this community an apology. >> the next day the kidnapper sends a series of e-mails to a reporter from the san francisco chronicle claiming responsibilities with pictures of the room where he says denise was held an and a pistol he used in the home invasion that turned out to be a squirt gun. >> i read these e-mails like a page-turning novel. >> mithe cops were still not convinces of aaron's innocence. >> they accused you all of manufacturing the e-mail. >> two months later, law enforcement respond a similar invasion in san francisco. only this time one of the
victims decides to fight back. the suspect ran off but left a cellphone behind. that cellphone tracked back to a 38-year-old harvard educated man, matthew muller, divorced former marine and disbarred attorney he confelsed and pleaded guilty and by july she and aaron vindicated. >> the vallejo police department owes an apology to them. >> they had an opportunity to clear our names and didn't do it. had an opportunity to protect the public, didn't do it. i was sad, angry. hurt. >> the vallejo police department did eventually apologize. >> they stated in part we apologize for and regret comments made by the representative of the vallejo
police department -- >> last week the city reached a settlement in a civil suit for $2.5 million. the city has not publicly acknowledged it did anything wrong and matthew muller was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the kidnapping and recently charged with denise's rape. >> a year ago you stood up in court and said i am the woman behind the blind fold. >> i looked him in the eyes, he saw me, every part of me, but he never looked into my eyes so i wanted to make sure he saw me and he did. >> those 48 hours of terror have transformed the once carefree couple, they say they were forced to leave vallejo and rebuild their lives recently getting engaged. >> it's with you. >> every moment.
>> what have you learned about yourself denise? >> that i have a lot of strength. you go through something like this and you're like we can do anything. >> for "nightline" in san francisco. >> next, six months after the devastating hurricanes we're back in puerto rico to see rising from the ruins. for long-lasting, continuous freshness, try febreze plug. febreze plug provides 45 days of freshness, with a unique dual chamber design that alternates between harmonized scents for a continuous renewal of fragrance. plus, febreze plug is formulated with odorclear technology, which cleans away odors instead of just masking them. for freshness you'll notice week after week, try febreze plug. [sfx: mouse click]
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dealing with the damage is a fact of life six months later hundreds of thousands without power and some without homes. tonight we raueturn to the scen of the recovery. >> explain to us what was here. >> the living room. >> this is the living room. >> the kitchen. it was my mother's room. >> for carmen torres gonzalez home is now a distant memory. >> where is your furniture? all gone? >> no se. >> more than 20 years of her life built here in puerto rico now reduced to blocks of concrete and piles of wood. >> what of all of the stuff here has been the hardest thing to lose?
>> the house. >> the house? >> it's been six long months since carmen and 3 million others living on this island found themselves at the mercy of hurricane maria. carmen from the safety of her neighbors house watches as category winds 155 miles an hour ripped apart her home. >> so many people left, why stay? do you want to the stay here? >> where? >> here. >> i want my house back. >> but rebuilding is a daunting task. officials say hurricane maria left $100 billion of damages in its wake, no power, no cell service trees blocking roads and separating families.
still six months later puerto rico governor tells us the island has so much further to go. >> of course the last mile, as they call it, is really the toughest one to get to. mountains and small communities that are somewhat isolated. so now is when sort of the real work begins. >> one of those areas morovis, located in the center of the island. we were first able to make the journey here just six days after the storm. the bridge to the neighboring town was gone. >> this used to be part of the bridge that has now completely collapsed in the force of hurricane maria's wind, this town now completely isolated. >> families forced to wade the treacherous rouse wires guys only a wire to hold on to. >> what do you have to do? >> we got to walk. we got to cross. >> today the flood waters have reseeded and cars are able to cross and the new bridge is
almost done. >> this is where the power, the electricity would come from. you can see that pole is knocked over. >> across the street we come across the rodriguez family. >> eva? >> marie. >> nice to meet you. >> their home is still in tact but like all her neighbors they are still without power. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> she's telling us that they've actually switched their stove to gas so that they can cook on it. they have little candles all over the house. >> she tells you they spend over $3,000 on gas for the generator. it only powers their home at night. officials say electricity has been restored to 93% of the island but 100,000 customers are still without power. >> n heigthere hasn't been a da
maximum effort hasn't been out to get the power back. 885 generators are still in use. in both hurricane inkatrina at . >> good news is we have a chance to build it back the right way. >> how long will you be here? >> long as it take buzz five to ten years is not outside of the realm of possibility. >> in town of y abu coa is also waiting to see the light. [ speaking foreign language ]. language ]. mayor there tells us that they spent almost $350,000 fuelling generators just to pump clean water into the community. >> people have to be tired of not having normal at this point. >> the united states army corp of engineers is hoping to have full power restored onto island
by june, just as this year's hurricane season begins. >> it's the biggest challenge ever as far as devastation to an electrical grid system in the united states. >> to help restore the system they have spent the past six months clearing down trees, in many areas helicopters are the only way to install power poles, dropping workers right on them to string the electrical wire. >> yesterday i watched a helicopter that was moving between three poles to string four wires across three poles that takes about five hours. >> inside their headquarters colonel shows a map of the power grid pink dots are where work needs to be done. >> how much is restoration and how much is focussing on making sure the lines are there post hurricane season next year. >> it's really both. ♪ >> the island starting to regain
its color but a midst the greenery, mountains and mountains of debris. >> millions of cubic yards of debris, you can see this one pile from one town just metal all from hurricane maria. >> the images are daunting but also a reminder of the progress so far one of those glimmers of change, this 14 story retirement home right outside san juan last time we were here no running water, the stairs, the only way in or out. >> what can do leave them here. >> so many of the elderly resident in desperate need of help. >> the hall ways pitch black. months later we return, the lights and electricity back on. >> we are taking the elevator this time opposed to the stairs. >> the residents now with a renewed sense of hope. >> every time i wake up in the morning i say life is good.
>> for many here this tropical paradise is finally coming back to life, in old san juan music fills the streets again giving so many a sense that the old normal is possible, a normal that carmen torres back in san lorenzo is still waiting for. she knows it will take time but plans to rebuild because this is home. >> you're going to rebuild though right? >> huh. >> you're rebuilding. >> four "nightline" in puerto rico. ♪ and next he's a best friend and a life saver. >> announcer: abc news "nightline" brought to you by -- ou by -- e's one... that blows them all out of the water. hydro boost water gel from neutrogena®. with hyaluronic acid it goes beneath the surface to plump skin cells from within
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