Baylor student kidnapped, released near campus

A Baylor student was kidnapped and released on S. Ninth Street on Oct. 28. Grace Everett | Photo Editor

By Matt Kyle | Assistant News Editor

A Baylor student was kidnapped early Friday morning near the 1900 block of S. Ninth Street, according to Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman.

A Baylor Alert email was sent to the Baylor community around 7:30 a.m. Friday, a few hours after the reported kidnapping. According to the alert, the victim was approached by three males around 3:30 a.m. and forced into a dark sedan.

Waco police spokesperson Cierra Shipley said officers were on the scene around 3:55 a.m. She said the suspects drove the female victim to Ninth Street and La Salle Avenue before releasing her. She was uninjured in the incident, Shipley said.

Shipley also said the Waco Police Department is currently investigating the incident. Police patrols have increased in the areas adjacent to campus, the alert said.

Joe Scaramucci, human trafficking detective for the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, said in order to stay vigilant against being kidnapped, he recommends staying in well-lit areas late at night. He also said if you are approached, make as much noise as humanly possible.

“If there was concern that you were going to be kidnapped, I would do everything in my power to fight to keep from being put into a vehicle,” Scaramucci said.

If the person approaching a target is armed, Scaramucci said he recommends that the victim comply and look for an opportunity to escape. He also said they should find a way to conceal their cellphone in order to call 911.

“If you have an electronic device, if you have a cellphone, hide it on your person somewhere,” Scaramucci said. “That’s how we’re able to track where people are. That’s pretty much the quickest and easiest way for us to be able to locate you.”

Scaramucci said that he has only investigated one case of kidnapping in Waco throughout his career and that most cases of human trafficking do not involve a kidnapping by strangers.

“That would be completely inconsistent with the way human trafficking operates within the United States,” Scaramucci said. “I believe there’s statistics out there that indicate that less than one half of 1% of people involved in trafficking are kidnapped in any way.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.