UTPD received unconfirmed reports of kidnapping in West Campus

Jordan Rudner

APD and UTPD officers both received calls from someone who said she witnessed a woman being forced into a black pickup truck Tuesday morning, and, though UTPD officers are investigating, no missing person has been identified thus far.

According to Veneza Bremner, APD public information officer, APD officers received a call between 1 and 2 a.m. Tuesday night from a woman who said she had viewed a suspicious incident at the intersection of 25th and San Antonio streets. APD officers went to the scene but did not find evidence that a crime had occurred.

“Officers responded to the call, but they weren’t able to locate a car or anything in the area,” APD commander David Mahoney said. “If it’s not there, there’s really nothing to go on. They weren’t able to find anything to follow up with.”

Roughly eight hours later, the same woman, who asked police to protect her anonymity, called UTPD and elaborated on the incident she claimed to have witnessed. According to UTPD spokeswoman Cynthia Posey, the caller said she thought she saw a woman being forced into the pickup truck by two men around 1 a.m. Posey said the caller was unable to elaborate on the woman’s appearance.

Lt. Charles Bonnet, who supervises UTPD’s criminal investigation unit, said the new details the woman provided were enough to convince UTPD to contact APD and open a full investigation.

“All I can tell you is that a student was concerned enough to call UTPD, and we owe it to our students to fully investigate the matter — just to make sure there’s nothing going on,” Bonnet said. “We have open lines of communication with APD, and the information they had last night was less than what we got today from the caller.”

Bonnet said the case still offered many unanswered questions, and the legitimacy of the reports has yet to be determined.

“There’s no proof that a crime occurred, but there is a suspicious act that was reported,” Bonnet said. “We don’t know what this was. It could have been a criminal violation, or it could have been something as simple as students pulling a prank. There’s just no telling.”

According to Bonnet, UTPD’s investigation has included checking for surveillance camera footage at the intersection, though he declined to say whether these attempts were successful.

“We’re going through other investigatory steps, trying to see if there’s video in the area,” Bonnet said. “The next best thing beyond that is to try and get any witnesses. Hopefully, someone saw what was going on or was actually involved themselves — and can tell us, ‘hey, that was me, it was no big deal.’”

There is a University Federal Credit Union ATM near the intersection. A representative from the Credit Union said most of the company’s ATM do have cameras, but said she could not confirm this particular ATM had footage.

Posey said UTPD emailed subscribers to its CampusWatch email list in order to gather more information about the incident.

“The reason we put it out there was so we could get more information,” Posey said. “We’ve done everything within our power to investigate this; we’ve been working on it all day.”

Bonnet said he did not want to hypothesize on whether the event was related to the power outages that affected large areas of West Campus for roughly half an hour, which began a few minutes after midnight Tuesday morning. 

“I couldn’t speculate about that,” Bonnet said. “The information we have is so minimal right now that it’s hard for us to say what exactly this did have to deal with.”

If you have information about this incident, please contact UTPD at 512-471-4441 and ask to speak to the Criminal Investigations Unit.

Additional reporting by Julia Brouillette