LOCAL NEWS

Police arrest Wayne Co. man after Snow College student found at his home

Dec 19, 2021, 7:17 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2021, 6:06 pm
Madelyn Allen, 19, was reported missing Wednesday. (Snow College Police Department)...
Madelyn Allen, 19, was reported missing Wednesday. (Snow College Police Department)
(Snow College Police Department)

EPHRAIM, Utah — A 39-year-old man from Wayne County has been taken into custody after authorities say a 19-year-old student from Snow College, who was reported missing nearly a week ago, was found alive at his home Saturday night.

Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk said Brent Brown is being investigated for obstruction of justice, but more charges are pending.

The announcement was made during a press conference at Snow College Sunday afternoon. It was held less than 24 hours after the school reported that Allen, who was last seen leaving her dorm in Snow Hall the night of Dec. 13, had been found alive.

At the time of her discovery, details were not available, but some new information came to light Sunday.

Walk said the 19-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital for an examination shortly after she was found. Then, she was taken to see her family.

When asked about Brent Brown, the police chief didn’t have any details to share. He said police don’t have a lot of information about him, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.

“We don’t know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far,” Walk said.

Following Walk’s remarks, Jacob Allen, Madelyn’s uncle, addressed the media.

“It is striking how different our hearts have felt ever since our dear Maddie was found last evening. We are overjoyed and relieved that she is safe. While she is now safe, the ordeal that she has been through is dangerous and traumatic — the experience and details and effects of which we have only begun to understand. She is a fighter. She is now a survivor. We are grateful she is with us again so that we can help her heal and recover,” he said.

He went on to thank all of the local, state and federal agencies who aided in the investigation into Allen’s disappearance. He also thanked everyone who offered their love and support from around the world.

“Now, as we go forward, it is with an intense mix of emotions that Jonathan and Tanya and their children and all of us are experiencing. We are still in shock that all of this happened. We are exhausted. We are elated. We are relieved. And we are worried about the long road that lies ahead. But most of all, and most importantly, we are so very, very grateful.”

Madelyn’s parents then shared a few words.

“We dropped to our knees,” Jonathan Allen said as he described receiving the phone call from Chief Walk that Maddie had been found. “We were so grateful, elated. Couldn’t describe the feelings that we had as we embraced each other and everybody that was with us and working so hard.”

He said they were amazed at the faith of their community and the “depth of goodness, kindness and selflessness and sincerity” that they have shown.

“We hope that this is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the unity that can come when we pull together and focus on a singular objective that is good.”

Tanya Allen spoke next. She thanked the “army that has surrounded us,” namely law enforcement, their friends and family, the community who supported them, and those at Snow College.

She went on to say, “We are so excited to have our Maddie home. We love her so much. And she has been such a light and a joy in our lives. We are so grateful that we can continue our lives together with her. And it took the effort of so many and we’re so grateful. And we love you. We pray for our sweet Maddie as she moves forward that she can find hope and happiness and joy in her future.”

Snow College President Bradley J. Cook was the final speaker.

“This should give us hope — that at a time of when we’re divided, when we maybe mistrust each other, what we learn here is that  when we do work together, miracles can happen. And that sort of unity and focus and solidarity is such an important symbol… we all need right now.”

He then spoke of the dangers of being online.

Cook urged students and other young people to be careful and vigilant about those kinds of interactions and the threats that may come.

The school president concluded his remarks by speaking about the Allen family.

“This family was the most poised, graceful, compassionate family, in a time of excruciating pain. And it’s been an honor, really, to work with them and their courage and their strength. We’re very proud that they’ll forever be part of the Badger family. We wish them success, and most of all, the success of Maddie as she journeys on in what we hope will be a very full, happy and productive life.”

The incident remains under investigation.

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Police arrest Wayne Co. man after Snow College student found at his home