OPD releases photo, information about attempted kidnapping

Posted on Oct 31 2018 - 5:50am by Morgan Gusella

The Oxford Police Department released photographs and a statement on Tuesday offering details about an attempted kidnapping that took place near campus during the Auburn football game weekend.

According to police, the assault happened between 8 and 8:10 p.m. on Oct. 20 near the Ford Center parking lot. A woman, who has not been named, was grabbed from behind as she was walking east on Van Buren Avenue. She was able to fight off the attacker and ran to a nearby residence where she called 911.

“The suspect goes back to his vehicle, which was parked in the Gertrude Ford Center parking lot, and left, going west on West Jackson Avenue,” said OPD Captain Hildon Sessums.

The department’s statement, which can be found on OPD’s social media accounts, included video stills of the person of interest, who is described as a white male, approximately 5’11”, who was wearing a dark-colored zip-up jacket, an orange or red shirt, khakis and a light tan Costa Del Mar baseball hat. Police say they “believe the ball cap is the key piece to solving this crime.” The suspect’s vehicle is described as a “newer model white car.”

OPD obtained security footage showing a white Nissan Maxima pulling into the Double Quick parking lot about five minutes after the assault was reported.

Security footage obtained by OPD.

“The male that exited the vehicle matched the clothing description that the victim gave to us,” Sessums said.

Oxford police have reached out to media outlets across the state and even media outlets in Alabama in hopes of finding the suspect.

“We don’t know if the male drove in for the game and left or stayed with someone they know,” Sessums said. “He could be a student or local.”  

Oxford Police Department is asking that anyone who was near or in the Ford Center parking lot between 7:45 and 8:10 p.m. on Oct. 20 to please contact them.

CrimeStoppers is offering $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Individuals with information about the case are asked to contact OPD Investigator Shane Fortner at (662) 232-2400 or sfortner@oxfordpolice.net. CrimeStoppers can be reached at (662) 234-8477.