Details emerge about UR students abducted

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police rescue 2 kidnapped University of Rochester students; 1 victim found shot in leg.

Two University of Rochester students, including one who is a talented pianist and the other a star football player, were lured into a drug den and beaten and one of them was shot over a weekend-long ordeal, according to police and classmates.Nicholas Kollias and Ani Okeke Ewo, both seniors at the school, were reported missing on Saturday evening under “suspicious circumstances,” police said.

The two college seniors — Nicholas Kollias, who is featured online performing Chopin melodies, and Ani Okeke-Ewo — were being treated Monday at a Rochester Hospital as police continued their investigation. At a press conference late Sunday night, Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said detectives learned during the course of their investigation that the students had been “forcibly abducted.” “We developed a tactical plan and after observing certain activity in that location the determination was made, we authorized the SWAT team to do an entry and the Rochester Police department SWAT team did enter that location and in fact did a hostage rescue,” Ciminelli told reporters. One of the students, whom police have not yet identified, was shot in the leg prior to authorities arriving at the house where the pair were being held, about four miles from campus, according to authorities.

Police declined to comment on the case details, but classmates of the duo said they were lured to the house by young women, and then jumped by men inside. Sara Miller, a spokesperson for the university, said Monday they are working closely with the police during the investigation and were not releasing any details at this time. “We do want to emphasize, however, that because of the circumstances of this abduction,” she wrote in an email message, “we don’t believe there to be any threat to the safety of our students and community members here at the University of Rochester.”

He described how area criminals try to lure victims into buildings with promises of women-filled parties. “When they find out you got money or something, they befriend you,” he said. “They tell you lies to try to get you.” Marquis Green, 26, who just moved in a few doors down from the property, said he and his girlfriend were asleep Sunday night when a blast woke them up, likely from the police raid. “It sounded like a bomb,” he said outside his house Monday afternoon. “I thought we were under attack.” He and his girlfriend jumped out of bed and went outside, where he saw police blocking off the surrounding streets. “Everyone was up on the street,” Green said, saying his neighbors told him of police vehicles rushing to the property. University President Joel Seligman described “a collective sense of relief,” in an interview with NBC News, adding, “This could have turned out in a very different way.” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren praised the police in a statement, “As our city’s Mayor and also as a mother I am grateful that our police officers helped make the ultimate outcome of tonight’s situation a good one.”

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