Crying wolf

Apr 062004
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

When news of University of Wisconsin student Audrey Seiler’s

alleged abduction broke, her story made national headlines. CNN,

Fox News and other media outlets posted her story and picture in

the hope that someone would have information on her


As it appears now, Seiler would have been the only person to ask

about her whereabouts. Shortly after she was “found,” local police

made public evidence of Seiler leaving her house without her jacket

or purse, and they claim to have videotape of her purchasing the

duct tape, rope, cold medicine, gun and knife that she claims her

abductor used to contain her and kidnap her.

Madison police also claim Seiler’s personal computer was used to

look up a five-day weather forecast and search for wooded areas in

the region. They also said they have witnesses claiming they saw

Seiler walking around town when she was supposedly kidnapped.

Though police are not calling the kidnap a hoax, they said the

search for any abductors is called off.

Seiler has not been charged with lying to police or officially

accused of faking her own abduction, but it is apparent there was

no one else involved in the incident.

What Seiler did was horribly wrong and could have devastating

effects the next time a young woman is missing in this country.

Fort Collins is no stranger to this scenario. Last winter,

University of Northern Colorado student Lacy Miller was missing for

several days before her body was found and her attacker was put in

jail. What Seiler did could make people question the validity of

the next missing woman.

Seiler’s “abduction” and “finding” also had the possibility of

providing people with a sense of hope that was immediately

stripped. Rarely is anyone who is abducted found, which left people

thinking that maybe someone really could be found. But this wasn’t

true, and the sense of security was almost immediately


If Seiler is charged with lying to officers, she will get a

small fine and move on.

The editorial board shakes its finger in shame at Seiler and

hopes her careless actions will not hurt search efforts for actual

abductions in the future.

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