Crime

Kirkland mother who staged abduction in Lakewood returns after Thailand flight

Lakewood Police examine Moua Vang’s van.
Lakewood Police examine Moua Vang’s van. Courtesy

A 31-year-old Kirkland woman who disappeared Tuesday after the Lakewood Farmers Market staged her abduction and flew to Thailand, police said.

Moua Vang then boarded a plane home after changing her mind about leaving her family.

“She basically got there, decided this wasn’t the best idea and arranged to come home,” police Lt. John Unfred said Friday.

Detectives met Vang’s plane Thursday night at Sea-Tac Airport night after the federal Department of Homeland Security notified the department that she was on an inbound flight.

Vang went missing about 6:30 p.m., hours after the Lakewood Farmers Market closed. She was a regular vendor at the market.

A city employee called police about 8:25 p.m. after noticing Vang’s tent was half taken down and all the doors on the van were left open.

Her keys and wallet were inside the van.

Police feared she’d been kidnapped because it appeared she left in the midst of breaking down her booth.

Surveillance video from nearby businesses and interviews from those who attended the market offered no clear ideas about what happened to her.

Police said Vang was highly stressed from working 12 to 14 hours every day and raising six children ages 2 to 14.

She grows her own flowers and has been selling them at markets across the state for the past decide, her sister-in-law said.

“She was obviously in a crisis of some sort,” Unfred said. “In her mind, this was her only choice. It’s unfortunate that it came to this point.

“I think everyone, especially her family, is glad that she was found safe.”

Vang allegedly admitted to police she staged the abduction so her family wouldn’t know she was leaving. She then took a shuttle to the airport.

After being interviewed Thursday, Vang was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility because she was stressed and hadn’t slept for several days.

Pierce County prosecutors and police said no charges will be filed against Vang for staging a kidnapping.

Police said they were grateful to the community for pulling together after Vang’s disappearance. Residents volunteered to organize search crews, donate money to her family and offered dozens of tips.

“In a bad situation, it was nice to see a lot of public support coming from our community,” Unfred said.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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