Penn State police continue kidnapping investigation, add night patrols

mdawson@centredaily.comJanuary 29, 2014 

— Penn State police have added uniformed officers to night patrols in response to a reported kidnapping of a university student over the weekend.

The student told police she was grabbed off a campus sidewalk about 1 a.m. Saturday, forced into a car but was able to escape later as men were trying to sexually assaulted her.

Police said they’re vigorously investigating the report and are seeing if video surveillance cameras in the vicinity of Simmons Hall on Shortlidge Road may have captured anything.

“We have devoted all available resources to finding the suspects,” Police Chief Tyrone Parham said Wednesday, the day after the student reported the kidnapping.

Investigators have talked to several people who were in the area of the incident between 1 and 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Parham said.

In addition, he said the university police force has added extra auxiliary officers and escort staff through the weekend. He urged students to use those resources instead of walking alone at night.

Police said the abductors were college-aged white men of average height and weight. They were seen in dark hooded sweatshirts and had scarves covering their faces.

The student told police that after she was forced into the car, it headed south on Shortlidge Road toward East College Avenue. Police said the car kept going to an off-campus location where the student was forced out of the car.

The men tried to assault her, but she was able to push one of them away and ran off, police said.

Parham said police don’t know how long the woman was held against her will before she was able to escape.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 863-1111.

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