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How An Unusual Text And Parent's Instinct Helped Police Locate A Missing Woman

How An Unusual Text And Parent's Instinct Helped Police Locate A Missing Woman

Madelyn Allen had been missing for five days before authorities found her tied up and covered in coal in her kidnapper's basement

Tom Sanders

Tom Sanders

A 19-year-old college student from Utah who had been missing for five days was found alive thanks to a cryptic text message sent to her parents before she had been officially reported as missing.

Madelyn Allen, a student at Snow College in Ephraim, was reunited with her family after being rescued on Saturday 18 December - almost a week after disappearing from her dorm on campus, school police Chief Derek Walk announced in a press conference.

Ms Allen was allegedly held captive by Brent Neil Brown, 39, who reportedly abducted and held Allen captive at his home in Loa after meeting her online.

He is currently facing felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, rape, object rape and obstruction of justice

Credit:Snow College
Credit:Snow College

"We don't have a lot of information about him," said Chief Walk, "We don't know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far."

Security footage shows Allen leaving her dorm room on Monday night. She was subsequently reported missing by her housemates when she did not return the next day.

Before she was reported missing, Brown allegedly allowed her to send one text message to her family on 14 December before confiscating her phone and tying her up in his basement, ABC4 has reported.

Shortly afterwards, a text message reading 'I love you' was sent from her phone to her parents, Jonathan and Taunya Allen, which subsequently led them to ask the cellphone carrier about the location of the device.

Snow College

The carrier reported back that the text was sent from Loa, about 87 miles from Ephraim, where she was last seen.

When authorities checked out the location, Brown answered the door to his home and claimed that he was alone, but after searching the premises police later found Allen tied up in a basement room where she was naked and covered in coal, according to court documents.

"As they approached the house they observed through a basement window a person with light-coloured hair and a small build in the basement of the house," the affidavit states, referring to police.

"As they knocked, this person ran out of sight."

Snow College

After being rescued, Allen told authorities that 'Brown raped her several times daily' and 'she did not want to have sex with Brown' - but was afraid of leaving because he knew her home address and had 'threatened her, saying if she left or told anyone about him he would come after her family and sister'.

And when she saw a news report about her going missing, Brown reportedly told her he had mailed her phone to the Arizona-Mexico border 'so nobody could locate her'.

Allen's parents said they were overjoyed to be reunited with their daughter on Sunday after she was checked out at a hospital. Her injuries remain unclear.

Featured Image Credit: Snow College

Topics: US News, crime