Irvine advertises itself as America’s safest midsize city
To Irvine detectives, [the man]’s story initially strained belief. His wife and 12-year-old stepdaughter were missing — kidnapped from their apartment, he claimed — and he had waited more than a week to report it.
[The man], a 42-year-old Uber driver, said he had been knocked out by a stranger at his door with an unidentifiable mist. He cleaned blood from the carpet. He followed kidnappers’ instructions to behave as usual, posing as his missing wife on WeChat. He told his stepdaughter’s school that the missing seventh-grader was sick at home.
All of this helped to establish [him] as Suspect No. 1 when he approached police on Dec. 2, 2019.
But now...detectives say they have not been able to disprove [his] bizarre account. Instead, police say, it has proved consistent on point after point.
One theory: a “gone girl” scenario in which [his wife] fled with her daughter, for reasons unknown, to another city or country. But there are arguments against it.