A 19-year-old university student in the US has been found alive in a man’s basement five days after disappearing from her dormitory room.
Madelyn Allen was found after vanishing from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, on Sunday (local time).
Police found Ms Allen in a basement coal storage room, naked and covered in coal, The Independent reported, citing legal filings.
Brent Neil Brown, 39, was arrested in connection to Ms Allen’s disappearance for allegedly holding her captive after meeting her online.
Brown is facing felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, rape, object rape and obstruction of justice, KSTU reported.
Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk told reporters at a press conference on Sunday (local time) they didn’t have a lot of information on him yet.
“We don’t know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far,” he told reporters.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune, Ms Allen had met Brown in an online chat group and arranged to meet him on December 13.
Ms Allen was seen leaving her room on Monday night on security footage, but when she didn’t return home the next day her roommates reported her missing on December 15.
Police used mobile phone data to locate Madelyn Allen
Ms Allen told police Brown took her phone and wallet, which had personal information about her and her family, including an address, ABC4 reported.
She said Brown threatened her saying if she left or told anyone about him, he would come after her family and sister.
Ms Allen’s parents became concerned for their daughter’s safety after she sent them a message reading, “I love you!”, a day before she was reported missing.
Her parents contacted Verizon, her mobile phone provider, who told them her phone had been used in Loa, a town with about 500 people, about 140km away from her university, according to ABC4.
Police used mobile phone data to locate Ms Allen in Brown’s house. When Brown first answered the door he said he was home alone, but authorities spotted a Snow College student ID inside the house, leading them to later find the 19-year-old in the basement after detaining him.
Brown was ordered by a judge to be held without bail, the New York Post reported. It’s unknown if he’s hired a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.
“We are so excited to have our Maddy home. We love her so much, and she has been such a light and a joy in our lives,” Ms Allen’s mother Taunya said during a news conference Sunday.
“We are so grateful that we can continue our lives together with her.”
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