Campus Police Find Victim’s Backpack, Pass Out Flyers and Increase Patrols

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.

Plan Ahead

  • 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.

When Walking

  • 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.