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Abducted Student Changes Story

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am beginning to think that there's more to the Audrey Seiler story since she was assaulted 2 months ago and she said she was "moved" a block during that incident and now she was not abducted from her apartment but from somewhere else she was because she wanted to be alone. I think she is involved in something else and has gotten in over her head.... I hate to jump to conclusions not knowing anything other than what the media is stating, but the whole story seems odd.

MADISON, WI (AP) -- A college student who said she was abducted from her apartment has changed her story, saying she was taken from somewhere else instead, police said Friday.

According to police, Audrey Seiler said she just wanted to "be alone."

Seiler, 20, was found Wednesday in a marsh, four days after she disappeared from her off-campus apartment.

She initially told police she was abducted at knifepoint from outside her apartment early Saturday.

Assistant Police Chief Noble Wray said Friday she changed her story when investigators
confronted her with inconsistencies in her account.

Seiler then told police a man had abducted her at knifepoint, but from somewhere else in the city, Wray said. He declined to elaborate.

Surveillance video showed the University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore leaving her apartment about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, wearing
only sweats.

When she was found in the marsh about two miles away, she was cold and dehydrated but otherwise unharmed.

"Audrey stated that she just wanted to quote, unquote, be alone," Wray said.

Her discovery ended an intense search that brought dozens of volunteers from Seiler's hometown of Rockford, Minn., to comb through marshes and woods around campus.

Investigators also scoured phone records and apartments for clues, and after she was found, officers with guns drawn had surrounded the marshy area looking for a suspect.

Assistant Police Chief Noble Wray had acknowledged to reporters Thursday that "there may be inconsistencies" in the case. But he said the hunt was still on for a suspected abductor, and police issued a composite sketch based on Seiler's account.

Rockford residents said after Friday's conference that they didn't know what to think.

"It's so open right now," said Ron Elsen, who watched the news conference at his family-owned cafe. "Everybody's guessing at what happened. That's all there is to it, because they're not saying anything."

His wife, Sue Elsen, said she was glad Seiler was safe but that she was getting skeptical.

"Something's fishy, don't you think?" she asked.

The unexplained attack was the second reported by Seiler in two months.

On Feb. 1, she told police that someone struck her from behind and knocked her unconscious. She told police that she was then moved about a block from where she was attacked but was not
sexually assaulted or robbed, authorities said.

Police have declined to say whether Seiler was sexually assaulted in the past week. She released from a hospital after less than six hours. A doctor said Seiler was cold and dehydrated and had muscle aches.

post #2 of 32
Maybe she is protecting her abductor..There is a stress disorder (cant think of the name) where the victims see their abductor as their protector and will try to protect them from prosecution..Im probably wrong, but it wouldnt be the first time.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
That is interesting though, I have never heard of that. It is also very possible. That's why I always hate "jumping to conclusions" when I first hear something. There are ALOT of things I don't know. I guess the main thing is that at least the story had a good ending. She was found alive, and that's alot to be thankful for
post #4 of 32
Yes, thank God she's alive and her family isn't having to identify her body (or parts). However, if she did cry wolf, that can cause problems later with authorities doubting others who really were abducted.
post #5 of 32
It's called "Stockholm Syndrome" and it is based on a hostage situation that took place in the 1970s in Stockholm, Sweden. The hostages became sympathetic to their captors, and after 6 days of being held some resisted rescue attempts and others refused to testify against their captors, raised money for their defense, and it was reported that one of the hostages actually got engaged to one of the abductors. Patty Hearst is another very well known example of this, she was kidnapped by a terrorist group, and after her ransom was paid and she was released became an active member of the group, assisting in robbing banks with them.
post #6 of 32
Yes, thats it!! I was looking through my abnormal psych. book for it..Thank you because that would have driven me crazy till I found it lol
post #7 of 32
I'm jumping to conclusions, but I don't think either attack took place. I think she might be under a lot of stress and is seeking attention or an excuse to drop out of school. It just doesn't make sense that she walked out the door at that hour, leaving behind her jacket and purse, and leaving the door open. The first attack sounds fishy, too.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hmmmmm, I didn't even consider the thought that she could have made up the attacks for attention. That seems more logically than what I had in mind. I was thinking that maybe she was involved in maybe drugs or even prostituion or something along those lines. But, come to think of it she didn't have any real injuries. Dehydration and muscle aches, but no real assault wounds physical or sexual. (As far as the reports have said)
post #9 of 32
I cannot put my finger on why but from the start I was suspicious of the whole incident.
post #10 of 32
Police are now saying that they do not believe that the abduction took place at all.

The main pieces of evidence that were found in the same area where she was found, the items she said the abductors used to restrain her (duct tape, rope, cold medicine and one other item, maybe the knife?)...well, they found a store surveillance camera that showed her purchasing all of the items.

They are still trying to figure out where she was when she was "missing".
post #11 of 32
It sounds like she fabricated her abduction. But why? Could she have some form of mental illness that cries for attention, like Munchausen's Syndrome?
post #12 of 32
Here's one update. It certainly sounds as if she has some major emotional problems. Perhaps her first story didn't achieve the desired results, so she came up with a more elaborate one. You'd think an honors student would be a little more savvy about her computer and surveillance cameras. This whole thing reminds me of a woman I knew in grad school. She was interested in a fellow TA, and started this whole bit about being stalked, terrorized, etc., in order to get his attention. The cops were sceptical, and she finally admitted that it wasn't true. The rest of us doubted her story because she had already come up with supposedly debilitating injuries from a car accident that necessitated others' helping her get around campus. It was a bit odd that the pain was so much worse when the guy was around to help her. He was concerned about her, but definitely not interested. As a teacher, I've often experienced how grades can drop dramatically during or after a crisis. However, a few times I've experienced how a personal crisis develops due to a drop in grades, because the kid needs to justify the poor grades somehow.
post #13 of 32
"We do not believe there is a suspect at large, period," says chief.
By David Callender and Steven Elbow
April 2, 2004

Email this story to a friend

this was in the newspaper today.

Madison Police acting chief Noble Wray

Police now believe Audrey Seiler planned and faked her own "abduction," Assistant Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said today, in a stunning conclusion to a week of drama that put Madison in the national spotlight.

In a press conference this afternoon, Wray said police have determined that Seiler's computer was used to search for parks and wooded areas around Madison and to check the five-day forecast for the period during which she was missing.

Police also have uncovered videotapes of Seiler in a store buying the items she claimed her abductor used to keep her captive, including duct tape, rope, cold medicine, gum and a knife, Wray said.

Although police had already found numerous inconsistencies in her account of the first abduction, Wray said they were obliged still to check out the details of her second report.

"We do not have the luxury of being able to speculate (or) draw conclusions before an investigation is completed," he said.

"It would have been a disservice to the community, a disservice to the country in this particular case, and a disservice to the family for a professional law enforcement organization in the United States to jump to conclusions and to assume that this was bogus."

He also declined to speculate about what might have motivated Seiler to invent her story.

Seiler told police that she "wanted to be alone," and Wray said, "that really capsulizes for us what we think we were dealing with there."

Still unresolved is whether Seiler may face criminal charges for lying to police. Hundreds of officers from numerous law enforcement agencies worked around the clock after her disappearance Saturday searching for Seiler, checking leads, and trying to determine the accuracy of her statements once she was found.

Wray said earlier today that Seiler and her family were "dealing with a wide range of emotions."

Seiler, who was last seen at the Regent apartment building, 1402 Regent St., where she lived on Saturday at about 2:30 a.m., had been missing for four days before she was found in a marsh near the Alliant Energy Center on Wednesday, cold and dehydrated but otherwise in good shape. She was released from St. Marys Hospital later that day.

When she was found by a state employee in a marsh area near Alliant Energy Center she told police her abductor, armed with a knife and perhaps a gun, was nearby, sparking a massive search involving helicopters, police dogs, high-tech thermal imaging equipment and about 150 officers. The search was called off about six hours after it began.

The press conference at Lakepoint Commons at the Monona Terrace convention center drew well over 100 media people with about 25 television cameras from local, state and national news organizations.

In a statement this morning, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz steered clear of the controversy generated by today's developments and lauded the efforts that eventually returned her to her family.

"The past week has brought our community together and shown our compassion," he said. "It has also showcased the good, solid work of our Madison Police Department, and has been an outstanding example of effective coordination with other law enforcement agencies and numerous volunteers. That is something we can all be proud of."

He added, "We should also not lose sight of the fact that Audrey has been safely reunited with her family and that in itself is a happy ending. We all need to be patient as the investigation continues and new facts come to light."

Seiler's story began to unravel Thursday after an intensive police manhunt produced no evidence and no suspect, and after it was reported that the state employee who found her in a marsh Wednesday had also encountered the missing college student there on Monday and Tuesday.

WISC-TV's Joel DeSpain, citing a "high level police source," reported that Ardis Virnig, the Department of Revenue employee who spotted Seiler while walking on a nature trail during the noon hour, spoke with the 20-year-old UW sophomore, who reportedly told her she went to the marsh to relax.

The woman told a 911 dispatcher she also saw Seiler on Monday and Tuesday, the television stations reported, apparently not connecting her right away with the missing UW sophomore who had become the focus of local and national media attention.

E-mail: selbow@madison.com Dcallender@madison.com Reporter Anita Weier contributed to this story.

Published: 9:58 AM 4/02/04

And they discovered that two entrances to The Regent apartments had no video surveillance, suggesting that she might have used those entrances to come and go unnoticed after her "disappearance."

And he said flatly, "We do not believe there is a suspect at large, period."

Wray's stunning revelations of what appeared to be a calculated scheme came at a 1 p.m. press conference, two hours after police revealed at an earlier briefing that Seiler told them she was not taken at knifepoint from her Regent Street apartment, but Was now maintaining she had been abducted elsewhere in Madison at some later time.

How dare she do this to her family!! and yes she needs some help and jail time as well!
post #14 of 32
Well, I hope they do a psychiatric evaluation on her - they may get to the basis of her problems, whatever they are.
post #15 of 32
I knew alot of personalities like this in college . Maybe not so extreme (obviously) but very, very attention seeking.
post #16 of 32
I think this girl needs serious help. She's obviously ill and needs to see a psychiatrist. How miserable do you have to be to fake your own abduction?

My only concern would be that the next person who really goes missing will be negatively impacted by this. I hope no one thinks "Well, she probably faked her disappearance like that Wisconsin girl"
post #17 of 32
It is an insult to people and their families who really do go missing.
post #18 of 32
My only concern would be that the next person who really goes missing will be negatively impacted by this. I hope no one thinks "Well, she probably faked her disappearance like that Wisconsin girl"
That would be a shame and thats what I fear too. I feel for her in a way, it's got to be pretty embarrassing to have the news that you lied all over the news..Let alone the fact that with so much publicity, she could very well be abducted and everyone could think she was doing it again.

I dont remember if I read it or saw it on TV, but there was a girl that shaved her head and told everyone she had cancer. Then took the money she had raised for cancer, she was charged with a whole list of things including fraud. The police could charge this girl too.
post #19 of 32
Embarrassing is right. I'll bet her parents, at least are embarrassed.
post #20 of 32
I suspect some emotional problems. Maybe college is too much for her. Maybe she should go back when she is more mature.
post #21 of 32
I dont think my parents would be the least bit happy with me
post #22 of 32
Well sure she has emotional problems ! What "normal" person would do something like that ? I DO think she should have to take some type of responsiblility. I heard the search cost close to $100K Plus all the worry she caused her family and friends !
post #23 of 32
I dont remember if I read it or saw it on TV, but there was a girl that shaved her head and told everyone she had cancer. Then took the money she had raised for cancer, she was charged with a whole list of things including fraud. The police could charge this girl too.
Actually the mother of the girl did that - she had been putting stuff in the grls food so she thought she was dying too. The mother was convicted. its so sad.
post #24 of 32
that is just terrible, my kids were sick alot when they were young and its exhausting. I wouldnt want to put myself or my kids thru any unnecessary illness. There was woman here a few years back that was caught trying to break her newborn babys arm so she could get attention..munchausen syndrome is what they said she had..could you imagine?
post #25 of 32
To me, this hits home hard because I am sooo close to the incident... I go to a UW school an hour away from Madison, and everyone on our campus got two emails in regard to this incident. This makes me angry that people I know in Madison helped search for her and it turned out to be a fake! Being so close, I was genuinely a little frightened about the supposed suspect still being on the loose. It was all a lie! I knew something was up Wednesday when she was found barely ruffled at all and with the way the video showed her walking out of the building. What happens when someone else in this area actually IS abducted?...no one will believe them. Also, what about we the taxpayers money that went to this intensive investigation? I feel bad for her family and friends who were put through this and, I feel that she honestly needs help (which I heard she is getting). I think that something needs to be done so it doesn't encourage others to follow suit. She should at least get probation and be forced to get mental help.

Sorry, I feel so strongly on this issue!

post #26 of 32
The 10:00 news said that she has been taken to a Mental Hospital
to be evaluated
post #27 of 32
sofie, i'd feel the same way !
post #28 of 32
Best bet is she's got a drug problem and ended up on a "escapaded" as one of my friends like to call her Crack addicted husband's 2-7 day get aways. He used to get so strung up on Crack that he would literally disappear for 2 to 7 days at a time. When he would finally come to he wouldn't know where he was, How he got there, or what he had done. During the 2 years that I knew him as a Crack head he did this at least once maybe twice a year. Then he wised up and is now clean and sober for over a year. I really think that is what happened to her. She took something that got her a little out of it and she probably just wandered around or hooked up with who knows and then ended up where she was found. And now she doesn't want the cops or her friends and Family to know what happened. My friend's husband ended up in the hospital after one of his binges, Because he hadn't eaten or drank anything while he was gone. At least that's what the Dr's said. That's what finally got him to clean up. That and the threat of losing his Daughter from my friend.

Edited: Guess I should have read the whole thread......OPPS Just saw the post about her planning it. Sickening!!!!
post #29 of 32
By JENNY PRICE, Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. - Audrey Seiler, the University of Wisconsin sophomore accused of staging her own disappearance last month, was charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor counts of obstructing officers.

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 to."

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 building.

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.

Police 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 records.

After investigators showed Seiler the surveillance photos of her buying the knife and other items during the April 1 interview, she said she purchased gum, Chapstick, flu medicine and tape for her bedroom lights.

Seiler's roommate, Heather Thue, told officers that Seiler seemed depressed and was "confused" about her relationship with her boyfriend, Ryan Fisher. Thue said Fisher did not pay as much attention to Seiler as she wanted.

During her April 1 interview, Seiler broke down crying when investigators told her they believed she was under a lot of stress.

"I know you think I can't handle Ryan, or my grades, but I can," Seiler said and started crying, according to the complaint.

As investigators attempted to console her, she added, "It just got so out of hand. I did not mean for it to ... everybody did so much for me," the complaint said.

Hundreds of people from Madison and Seiler's hometown participated in searches for her after her disappearance.

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 also fabricated.

A message left at Seiler's home in Rockford, Minn., 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, Minn., last week.

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.

post #30 of 32
Chelle, I have merged your thread with this one as it is the same subject. Thank you.
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