The Associated Press
Madison, Wisc. (AP) -- Audrey Seiler, the University of Wisconsin
sophomore accused of staging her own disappearance last month, was
charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor counts of obstructing
Each charge carries a jail sentence up to nine
months and a maximum fine of $10,000. Investigators said she told
them, "It just got so out of hand. I did not mean for it
Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard filed the
16-page criminal complaint two weeks after Seiler, 20, was discovered
in a marshy area within a mile of her campus apartment, when she told
police a man with a knife and a gun was in the area. She was reported
missing March 27 and found March 31.
When officers attempted to
assist Seiler to her feet she said "I can't leave the woods -- a bad
man will kill me," according to the complaint. She told officers the
man had a knife and a gun.
Her claim touched off a major
manhunt, which authorities said accounted for most of the money they
spent on the case. The Madison police department last week estimated
its costs at $96,000.
According to the criminal complaint,
Seiler told police on March 31 and April 1 that a man had entered her
room at 2:15 a.m. March 27 while she was doing homework and forced
her from her room at knifepoint, telling her to leave the
Seiler told police that once outside, the same man
grabbed her and put her into a car with threats that he had a gun,
according to the complaint. She also said the man used duct tape over
her mouth and would sometimes give her Nyquil pills.
concluded Seiler's story was fake after obtaining a videotape that
showed her buying the knife, duct tape, rope and cold medicine she
claimed her abductor used to restrain her. They also obtained a
warrant to search her laptop computer and cell phone
Seiler had also reported an unexplained attack in
February, saying she was struck from behind and left unconscious, but
the complaint does not say whether police believe that attack was
A message left at Seiler's home in Rockford,
Minnesota, wasn't immediately returned. The family's attorney, Randy
Hopper, was traveling and didn't immediately return messages left at
his office and on his cell phone.
Seiler had been under a
doctor's care since she was found, but returned home to Rockford,
Minnesota, last week.
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Hopper did not release any details of
Seiler's condition or say what type of treatment she was receiving.
"Dateline NBC" reported that Seiler was in a psychiatric facility.