A Utah man is in custody charged with obstruction of justice after a missing college student was found alive Saturday night.
Madelyn Allen, 19, was reported missing from Snow College in Ephraim on Monday night, sparking a search that eventually included the FBI.
On Saturday night, school officials and Allen’s family announced that she had been found, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
But at a news conference Sunday afternoon, Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk said that 39-year-old Brent Brown had been arrested on an obstruction charge and that other charges are pending as investigators piece together what happened.
Allen was found at Brown’s home in Wayne County, some 170 miles away from Ephraim, Walk said.
“We don’t have a lot of information about him,” the chief said. “We met him for the first time last night. And 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 that we are still digging into and trying to understand fully,” he said.
Jacob Allen, Madelyn’s uncle, read a statement at the news conference.
“The ordeal that she has been through is dangerous and traumatic, the experience and details of which we have only begun to understand,” he said. “She is a fighter. She is now a survivor. We are grateful she is with us again so we can help her heal and recover.”
Police have declined to provide further details as the investigation continues.
Her parents, Jonathan and Taunya Allen, also spoke.
“We got the phone call and [Walk] said, ‘I have her.’ And we dropped to our knees,” Jonathan Allen said. “We were so grateful, elated. We couldn’t describe the feelings that we had as we embraced each other.”
From the heart of a mother, I express my gratitude to each and every one of you,” Taunya Allen said through tears.
“We are so excited to have our Maddie home. We love her so much, and she has been such a light and a joy in our lives. We are so grateful that we can continue our lives together with her.”
The Allens had planned vigils for their daughter Sunday night and said those would go on as planned as “gatherings of gratitude.”
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[Featured image: Madelyn Allen/Snow College]