By Todd Richmond, The Associated Press
Madison, Wis. (AP) -- A man police believed abducted a University of
Wisconsin-Madison student at knifepoint was still at large Thursday,
a day after the college sophomore was found alive and
Audrey Seiler told police she thought her abductor was
still in the marshy area where she was found Wednesday afternoon,
four days after she disappeared from her apartment, police spokesman
Larry Kamholz said Thursday. An intense search of the area did not
turn up the suspect.
Kamholz said police were looking for tips to
give them a better idea of where to search, and they hoped to have a
more in-depth interview with Seiler later Thursday.
Before she was
found Wednesday afternoon, Seiler was last spotted on a surveillance
camera taken from her apartment building early Saturday. Police would
not say Thursday morning how Seiler was abducted or how she was freed
and found in a marsh less than two miles from her
Officer Shannon Blackamore said Seiler did not know the
Blackamore said there was an indication or threat of a
gun, though Seiler never saw the weapon. "Audrey reports she was not
free to leave and was not injured," Blackamore said.
cold, dehydrated and had muscle aches from being confined but was
otherwise fine when she was checked at a hospital Wednesday, said Dr.
"Audrey is doing well. She's happy to be back," said
her father, Keith Seiler. "Needless to say, she's thrilled to be home
again with her family and friends."
The discovery capped an intense
search in which dozens of volunteers from Seiler's hometown of
Rockford, Minn., slogged through marshes and woods around campus
looking for evidence. Investigators scoured her phone records and
apartments in her private dorm for any clue to the disappearance.
Police also used dogs, planes and boats in the search.
surveillance tape from her apartment building shows Seiler leaving
without any personal belongings about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Her
apartment door was left open, even though her roommate was not home
at the time, and Seiler's car was left behind.
Police would not say
Wednesday what prompted her to leave the building in just
Seiler was also the victim of a mysterious attack Feb. 1,
when she was struck from behind by an unknown assailant and knocked
unconscious, police said. Someone moved her about a block from where
she was attacked, but she was not sexually assaulted or robbed,
Police are unsure if there was any connection
between the attack and Seiler's disappearance.
the idea that Seiler's disappearance, coming as it did weeks after
another unexplained incident, was a hoax. Authorities said police
were investigating it seriously.
Seiler's uncle Scott
Charlesworth-Seiler said Audrey was smiling and happy at the
hospital. He said she hadn't talked about why she left her apartment
and no one had asked her about it.
"We all believed we were going
to find her and she was coming back. She's a strong girl," he
The marshy area where Seiler was found is near a hotel where
many of her family and friends were staying as they helped with the
search. After receiving word Seiler was OK and back with her parents,
they began checking out to go home.
Her boyfriend's family
celebrated in the hotel lobby over beers as guests walked by and
"Everything tastes better. Everything
looks better. Everything feels better," said Bill Fisher, whose son
Ryan is Seiler's boyfriend. He came down from Rockford, Minn., to
join the search party.
Karin Sivula, 18, a UW-Whitewater freshman
who went to high school with Seiler, said she can't understand why
anyone would attack her friend from behind or abduct her, and both
incidents have left her angry.
"Just crazy," she said. "There's so
many unanswered questions."
Taylor Brown, a friend of Seiler's
boyfriend, said students were glued to their TVs Wednesday as they
awaited updates on her condition and the search for the
"Yesterday it would've been pretty hard to create a
scenario where she came out of this so well," Brown said. "I think
it's great that everything worked out so well."
In La Crosse, about
110 miles northwest of Madison, police said another college student
reported missing also was found Wednesday.
Gretchen Lee, 22, a
student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, was last seen Monday
morning as she left her father's home in Red Wing, Minn., to drive to
She called her family late Wednesday from South Dakota
after hearing news reports about her disappearance, Sgt. Troy
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"She went out for a joy ride and decided to travel
for a couple of days without telling anybody," he said.