By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
A reported abduction of a Mississippi State University student in the early hours Wednesday was determined to be a hoax following investigation by the MSU campus police department and the FBI.
Shortly after midnight yesterday, the MSU campus police department received a call from a student who said her roommate called her to say she had been abducted while walking back to her residence in South Hall from the Mitchell Memorial Library. The university’s Maroon Alert system was initialized and a text message alert was sent out to students regarding the incident about 2 a.m.
Later in the morning, MSU Police Chief Georgia Lindley said the student had been located and was safe, but the campus police department was still working with the FBI on the investigation.
“When interviewed, the student recanted her account of events,” said Thomas Bourgeois, MSU dean of students in a release. “Student safety is a serious issue and one of our top priorities, and this false report has caused unnecessary alarm and anxiety for our campus community.”
Though neither FBI nor MSU campus authorities would comment on the details of the case, MSU Detective Brad Massey said both organizations were taking the investigation seriously.
“Any reported incident is seriously investigated. We take all incidents very seriously,” Massey said. “When someone makes a false report, it takes resources away from legitimate cases.”
An MSU report said the student will face charges for filing a false report, though it is unclear if they will come from a local or federal level.
FBI Jackson Division Public Affairs Specialist Deborah Madden declined to comment on the investigation.
Bourgeois said he encourages students to remain alert and aware of their surroundings at all times and to utilize the Bully Patrol, a campus escort service provided by the MSU Police, when walking alone at night.