A college student in Utah survived an absolutely horrifying kidnapping at the hands of a man she met online, according to police. Madelyn Allen, 19, was reunited with family after she was taken to a hospital, Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk said in a press conference on Sunday.
Allen connected with suspect Brent Neil Brown, 39, on an app and met in person last Monday, according to the affidavit obtained by KSL. Brown picked her up and drove her 87 miles to his home in Wayne County, Utah, officers said. It was there that he allegedly imprisoned her — tying her up when he went to work, and only leaving her access to food and the bathroom. He claimed this was role-play, officers said.
Allen realized she was in danger on Tuesday and worried she could not leave the residence, authorities said. Brown threatened to go after her family and sister if she left, authorities said.
In this account, Allen saw a TV report about her being missing, but Brown said that he mailed her phone to the Arizona-Mexico border so that no one could find her. He also allegedly said later that cops had quit looking.
But cops did not quit looking for Allen. According to the affidavit, they managed to track her phone on Saturday and went to Brown’s home.
“As they approached the house they observed through a basement window a person with light-colored hair and a small build in the basement of the house,” authorities said. “As they knocked, this person ran out of sight.”
Brown initially kept officials out of the residence but officers said they managed to get permission from the actual homeowners: his parents. Investigators said they found Allen’s student ID and what were apparently her clothes. Finally, officers said they found her naked in the coal storage area of the home, completely covered in coal to hide her from cops.
Brown is charged with aggravated kidnapping, rape, object rape, and obstruction of justice.
“We are overjoyed and relieved that she is safe, and while she is now safe, the ordeal that she has been through is dangerous and traumatic,” Madelyn’s uncle and family spokesman Jacob Allen said. “The experience and details and effects of which we have only begun to understand. She is a fighter. She is now a survivor.”
“As we’ve thought about this, we’ve just been amazed to think about a testament to the faith of the community that this has been, and the depth of goodness and kindness and selflessness and sincerity that’s happened, and for that reason, we are just so grateful and overjoyed,” her father Jonathan Allen said. “We hope that this is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the unity that can come when we pull together and focus on a singular objective that is good, and no better time than right now during the Christmas season to think about the hope than can come to so many people who are also out there suffering.”
“We are so excited to have our Maddie home,” her mother Taunya Allen said. “We love her so much, and she has been such a light and a joy in our lives. We are so grateful that we can continue our lives together with her, and it took the effort of so many, and we’re so grateful.”
[Image via Snow College]
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