A Utah man is in custody after a missing college student was found alive in his home — naked and covered in coal, authorities said.
Madelyn Allen, a 19-year-old student at Snow College in Ephraim, was reunited with her family after being rescued late Saturday, some five days after she disappeared from her dorm room, Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk told reporters at a press conference Sunday.
Brent Neil Brown, 39, who allegedly held Allen captive at his Loa home for days after meeting her online, is now facing felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, rape, object rape and obstruction of justice, KSL-TV reported.
“We don’t have a lot of information about him,” Walk told reporters. “We don’t know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far.”
Allen had met Brown, originally from Kaysville, in an online chat group and arranged to have him pick her up on Dec. 13, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune.
Security footage at the community college showed Allen leaving her dorm room while carrying a plastic bag. Her roommates then reported her missing when she didn’t return the following day, court documents show.
Brown allegedly then became violent in ensuing days while allowing Allen to text her family once on Dec. 14. He then took the teen’s phone and wallet, tied her up while at work and threatened to go after her family if she left or told anyone about him, the affidavit states.
Investigators ultimately used cellphone tower information to track down the missing teen in the town of about 500 residents, the newspaper reported. Loa is nearly 90 miles away from Snow College.
Brown answered the door to his home and said he was alone, but cops later found Allen in a basement room, where she was naked and covered in coal, court documents show.
Allen’s parents, Jonathan and Taunya Allen, said they were overjoyed Sunday to be reunited with their daughter after she was checked out at a hospital. Her injuries were unclear.
“We dropped to our knees,” Jonathan Allen said of when he got the call from cops Saturday. “We were so grateful, elated. [We] couldn’t describe the feelings that we had as we embraced each other.”
Allen suffered a “dangerous and traumatic” ordeal, which she and her family has just started to understand, her uncle said.
“She is a fighter,” uncle Jacob Allen told reporters. “She is now a survivor. We are grateful she is with us again so she can now recover.”
A judge ordered Brown held without bail Sunday, KSL-TV reported. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney who could comment on his behalf.