Missing Utah College Student Is Found Covered in Coal but Alive After 'Traumatic' Ordeal, Man Arrested
A missing Utah college student has been found safe and a suspect has been arrested.
Madelyn Allen, 19, was last seen leaving her Snow College dorm around 9:22 p.m. on Dec. 13 and was reported missing the following day by roommates.
Police found the teen nearly a week later on Dec. 18 at the Wayne County home of 39-year-old Brent Brown. He was taken into custody on suspicion of obstruction of justice and another crime, Sanpete County Attorney Kevin L. Daniels tells PEOPLE. He has not yet been formally charged or entered a plea.
"We are just incredibly relieved and grateful that she has been found and for the wonderful investigative efforts that went into that," Allen's uncle Jacob Allen tells PEOPLE. "And that there is a long road to recovery especially given what has happened to Maddie as a victim and a survivor."
"We just hope and pray for Maddie and the family's recovery and are grateful for the work that has gone into it including all the support and concern from people all around the country and beyond," he adds. "It is a miracle for us and we are exceedingly grateful."
"She is alive because of law enforcement," Daniels says. "She certainly was in danger."
"We are continuing the investigation and we will go where the evidence will lead us," he says. "We are also investigating if there are other victims out there."
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
At a press conference Sunday, Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk said he didn't have a lot of information to share about Brown.
"We met him for the first time [Saturday night]," he said. "We don't know how extensive his relationship or her knowledge of him is thus far."
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, police were able to trace Allen's phone to the town of Loa where authorities began searching door to door.
At one home, officers looked through a basement window and saw a person with a small build and light-colored hair, ABC4 reported, citing the affidavit.
The occupant of the house told officers he was home alone. Police later searched the home and found Allen in a coal storage area completely covered in coal, ABC4 reported.
At the press conference, Allen's father, Jonathan Allen, said "we dropped to our knees" when he and his wife learned their daughter had been found.
"We are so excited to have our Maddie home," her mother, Tanya Allen, said. "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."