Detectives with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office are continuing their search for the suspect in the Jan. 12 kidnapping of an 18-year-old Santa Fe College student. Campus police found the victim’s backpack on Sunday and today are passing out flyers showing a composite image of the suspect.
The suspect is a male with a darker-skinned complexion of unknown race, possibly of Middle Eastern descent. He is described as having close-cut hair, an unshaven face, and a tattoo on his back 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. .
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.
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 may 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.