Detectives with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said additional interviews with the victim of yesterday’s alleged kidnapping have produced a fuller description of the suspect.
The suspect is a male with a darker-skinned complexion of unknown race, possibly Middle Eastern. He was wearing a dark hood and jeans. He was described a having close-cut hair, an unshaven face, and a tattoo on the back of his right hand. He possibly stands 5’8″ to 5’11” and is believed to be in his late 20’s to early 30’s. He was driving a smaller, black pick-up truck with tinted windows and a grey interior. The victim continues to work with detectives to come up with additional details.
Anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious is asked to call (352) 955-1818 to report it. Callers may also remain anonymous and be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers at (352) 372-7867.
Santa Fe College Assists Local Law Enforcement in Search for Kidnapping Suspect
The Santa Fe College Police Department has increased campus security and added extra personnel while cooperating with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of an alleged kidnapping at the Northwest campus.
“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are of supreme importance,” said President Jackson Sasser. “We are committing every available resource to assure our campus is a safe learning environment.” Shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, sheriff’s deputies responded to Santa Fe College to assist the Santa Fe Police Department in the search for an 18-year-old student who was reported missing by her family when she did not arrive at home as expected.
During initial interviews with the victim, detectives have learned that the victim was approached in the North Parking Lot near O Building by a suspect who was not known to her and who was armed with a handgun. She was forced into the vehicle by the suspect who then fled the scene. The victim was finally able to escape when the vehicle slowed and she jumped out in the 12000 block of NW 39th Avenue. She was able to describe the vehicle as a smaller, black-colored pickup truck with tinted windows and a grey interior.
The initial description of the suspect is a male with a darker-skinned complexion of unknown race, possibly Middle Eastern or Hispanic. He was wearing a dark hoodie and jeans. He was described as having close-cut hair, an unshaven face, and a tattoo on his right hand. The victim continues to work with detectives to come up with additional details.
Anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious is asked to call (352) 955-1818 and report it. Callers may also remain anonymous and be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers at (352) 372-STOP (7867).
Santa Fe College has additional officers on duty and personnel are handing out flyers with the suspect’s description to drivers entering the O Parking Lot. Students, faculty and staff are urged to take commonsense precautions: be observant and alert, and report anything suspicious to the Santa Fe Police Department. Anyone wishing an escort to their vehicle should call the SF Police Department at (352) 395-5519.
Students who need assistance coping with emotional distress regarding this incident are urged to contact the SF Counseling Center at (352) 395-5508.
Crime Prevention Strategies
Prevention of any crime begins with awareness. Become aware of your surroundings and stay tuned in for possible danger or threats to your safety.
- Be wary and suspicious of observed behavior or activities that make you feel uncomfortable and avoid secluded places where you are put in a vulnerable position.
- Trust your instincts.
- If someone or something appears troublesome, leave the area and contact law enforcement.
- Always try to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Stay in well-lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes, and entryways.
- If a driver stops to ask directions, avoid getting close to the car, and only accept rides from people you know well.
- If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction. After you have safely cleared the area, contact law enforcement.
- If you’d like a police escort to your car, call 352-395-5519.
Traveling in Your Car
- Have your keys ready when you approach your vehicle and check inside before entering. Lock your doors.
- Avoid isolated roads and shortcuts and park in well-lighted areas.
- If you are followed, drive to the nearest open business for help, or go to a police or fire station.