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Missing Student Found Alive And Covered In Coal In Man's Basement

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Missing Student Found Alive And Covered In Coal In Man's Basement

Featured Image Credit: Snow College

A missing college student in Utah has been found alive in the basement of a man’s home, with police saying she was naked and covered in coal when she was discovered.  

Madelyn Allen, 19, was rescued by authorities on Saturday 18 December – five days after disappearing from her dorm room at Snow College in Ephraim, Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk told a press conference. 

Credit: Snow College
Credit: Snow College

According to KSTU, Brent Neil Brown, 39, was arrested on Sunday morning, having been booked on four felony counts: aggravated kidnapping, rape, object rape and obstruction of justice.  

Court documents say Brown held Allen captive in his home in Loa, Wayne County – which is around 90 miles away from Snow County – for multiple days. 

Police Chief Walk told reporters: “We don’t have a lot of information about him.  

“We don’t know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far. 

“This is an ongoing investigation. There are certain aspects we are still digging into and trying to understand fully.” 

Credit: Snow College
Credit: Snow College

According to the affidavit, Allen met Brown in an online ‘chat group’ and arranged for him to be picked up on Monday 13 December. Her roommates reported her missing when she failed to return home the following day. 

Court documents say Brown became violent, having taken her phone and allowed her only to text her family once on the morning of Tuesday 14 December. 

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the affidavit alleges he tied Allen up while he was at work, and threw her phone away when he discovered police were searching for her.

He also took her wallet and ‘threatened her, saying if she left or told anyone about him, he would come after her family and sister’. 

Credit: Snow College
Credit: Snow College

Eventually, investigators were able to use mobile phone tower information to track down the missing student. 

When Brown answered the door, he said he was alone, but police found Allen in a basement room, naked and covered in coal. 

The teenager's parents, Jonathan and Taunya Allen, said they were overjoyed to be reunited with their daughter after she checked out from hospital.  

“We dropped to our knees,” Jonathan Allen said, remembering the moment he received the phonecall from police on Saturday.  

“We were so grateful, elated. [We] couldn’t describe the feelings that we had as we embraced each other.” 

Credit: Snow College
Credit: Snow College

Allen’s uncle, Jacob Allen, said she suffered a ‘dangerous and traumatic ordeal’ - one which the family are only just starting to understand. 

“She is a fighter,” he told reporters. “She is now a survivor. We are grateful she is with us again so she can now recover.” 

On Sunday, a judge ordered Brown to be held without bail. 

Topics: US News

Jess Hardiman
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