Two University of Rochester Students Successfully Rescued by SWAT Team After Being 'Forcibly Abducted' and Held Hostage: Police

Four unidentified suspects were taken into custody on Sunday night in connection with the abduction

Photo: Rochester City Police Department

Two University of Rochester students who were allegedly abducted and held hostage were rescued on Sunday, PEOPLE confirms.

Nicholas Kollias and Ani Okeke Ewo, both seniors at the school, were reported missing on Saturday evening under “suspicious circumstances,” police said.

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.”

Officers located the two men at a residence approximately four miles from campus and sent a SWAT team to rescue them at around 9:20 p.m. on Sunday.

“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.

Kollias and Ewo were taken to a nearby hospital, where they are recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. One had been shot in the leg ahead of the rescue.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

University of Rochester President Joel Seligman praised the efforts of the police force at the press conference. “The two University of Rochester students who were wrongfully held, for many, many hours have been successfully recovered, are healthy, are alive,” he said. “There is a collective sense of relief tonight that all of us feel. This could have turned out in a very different way.”

Ciminelli added that he does not believe there is a threat to the general community. “I do want to point out this was a directed event and we have no information or evidence of any kind that this constituted a general threat to the University of Rochester community, nor do we have any information or evidence that there is a threat or safety concern to the University of Rochester community at this point,” he said.

Four suspects were arrested at the house as well. They have not yet been charged with any crimes and therefore have not been identified.

The investigation into the students’ disappearances is ongoing.

Related Articles