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.