Case of woman found in trash bin puzzles police

UKIAH - A Washington state woman remained at a Ukiah Valley hospital Wednesday while authorities worked to unravel her mysterious disappearance and subsequent discovery in a mound of garbage.

Rebecca Huston, 32, was reported in good condition at Ukiah Valley Medical Center, where she was taken after being found Tuesday morning in a truckload of trash at a garbage transfer station on the south end of Ukiah.

Huston told authorities she was kidnapped in Washington and was forced to travel to California, ultimately ending up alone in a trash bin.

Relatives, friends and co-workers of Huston in Kennewick, Wash., were jubilant Wednesday after learning she had been found alive.

"There was a lot of crying, a lot of relief," said Laurie Salazar, office manager of a veterinary clinic where Huston works in nearby Richland.

But as puzzling details about the case emerged Wednesday, law enforcement authorities said they were proceeding with caution.

"We're waiting for her return so we can interview her in person. We need some answers," said Kennewick Police Sgt. Randy Maynard.

Huston could leave Ukiah in the company of a sister as early as today, according to authorities.

Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick police spokesman, said Huston and a sister might drive her vehicle back home. But Lattin said a company based in the neighboring city of Pasco also has offered to fly the two back home on a corporate jet. Lattin said no decision had been made by late Wednesday.

Huston has spoken with Mendocino County investigators, but she declined Wednesday to be interviewed publicly about her disappearance. Hospital spokesman Jarrod McNaughton said Huston told him she was "not up to that."

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