Two University of Rochester College Students Abducted, Held Hostage

One was on the football team
December 7, 2015 Updated: December 7, 2015

Officials said that two New York college students, one a current member of the university’s football team and the other an ex-member, were found safe after police say they were abducted and held hostage, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

The Rochester Police Department deployed a SWAT team who rescued the two University of Rochester seniors on Sunday night.

They were “forcibly abducted and held against their will” in an ordeal that lasted more than a day, officials told NBC News.

According to a statement from the college, “University officials along with the Rochester Police Department are pleased to announce that the two University students reported missing have been found and are safe.”

“The police investigation into their disappearance will continue, but the good news is that they were located this evening by the Rochester Police Department.”

University President Joel Seligman commended everyone involved in the rescue. He said there was “a collective sense of relief,” and added: “This could have turned out in a very different way.”

The two students were taken to the hospital. One is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg. Police said that the injury is non-life-threatening, adding he was shot before the rescue operation took place.

Nicholas Kollias, who is from Northbrook, Illinois, and Ani Okeke Ewo, of Aurora, Illinois, were both reported missing on Saturday evening, a few hours after they were last seen near the school.

Officials said that they were targeted by the suspect and there’s no larger threat.

At least four people have been taken into custody, and an investigation is ongoing, AP reported.

Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli told the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper investigators found that the pair were being held at an address in the northeastern part of Rochester.

Members of the SWAT team entered the home at 9:20 p.m. ET and rescued the two.