SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Detectives identified the man accused of kidnapping Denise Huskins years before the alleged crime took place, but didn’t have enough to charge him.

Matthew Muller is accused of being part of a larger conspiracy for a sophisticated crime spree. Investigators found at least four drones, as well as pliers, sheets and a mattress pad inside his storage unit.

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A family friend CBS13 spoke to said he was dumbfounded to learn the kid who used to call him Uncle Steve who went on to become a Harvard-trained attorney is now accused of being the culprit behind the elaborate kidnapping of Denise Huskins in March.

“When I saw the picture on TV I was just blown away; I had no idea,” he said.

Palo Alto Police investigators seemed positive Muller was the man who broke into a woman’s home in 2009, but they couldn’t get enough evidence to arrest him.

“What we are hopeful for is that with these recent cases, the evidence collected there may potentially provide that missing puzzle piece,” said Lt. Zach Perron.

At the time, there wasn’t enough probable cause to put him away.

“That stranger restrained her, blindfolded her, and threatened to rob her and sexually assault her,” he said. “Fortunately none of those things occurred, and she was not harmed physically as a result of the incident.”

He wouldn’t give any further details on the case, or why the suspect took off before following through on the threats.

CBS13 has also found the soon-to-be disbarred attorney had problems with his previous employers as well.

According to a federal suit, his former firm accused him of stealing sensitive documents from the company before quitting. The suit also claimed the firm was likely to fire Muller anyway for breaking rules and sleeping overnight in the office.