The suspect, Brent Brown, was arrested on obstruction of justice, aggravated kidnapping, and sexual assault charges.
The student, 19-year-old Madelyn Allen, was reported missing after she was seen leaving her dorm at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, at around 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, officials said in a news release.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, citing an affidavit, authorities were able to trace Allen’s phone to a town in Wayne County. They then started searching door-to-door before looking through a home’s basement window and saw a person with a small build and light-colored hair, the affidavit read.
The occupant of the home told officers that he was there alone. Authorities later searched the place and found Allen inside a coal storage area, according to court documents.
“We are overjoyed and relieved that she is safe,” a family spokesperson, Jacob Allen, said during a news conference on Sunday. “While she is now safe, the ordeal that she has been through is dangerous and traumatic. The experience and details and effects of which we’ve only begun to understand. She is a fighter. She is now a survivor. We are grateful that she is with us again so that we can help her heal and recover.”
Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk said that little is known about the suspect.
“We don’t have a lot of information about him,” Walk told reporters during a news conference. “We don’t know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far.”