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Ogden kidnapping calls attention to dangers of domestic violence

Ogden police say a woman who was abducted overnight drove herself to safety on Wednesday morning. 

Local law enforcement say Jessica Northrup had last been seen with her former domestic partner, Paul Collen before she disappeared. 

The case has sparked conversations around domestic abuse, and what bystanders can do to help.

Ogden police chief Chris Mears told reporters on Wednesday that Northrup’s case sheds light on the dangers of domestic violence.

“This lady is very lucky to be a survivor. I believe that in my heart. She’s very fortunate to be alive today,” he says..

A man’s body was found near where Northrup was held against her will. Ogden police have identified the body as Northrup’s former partner and alleged kidnapper, Collen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. 

Meaghan de Chateauvieux with Willow domestic violence center says that neighbors and friends can be crucial allies to getting a target of domestic violence help.

“And that means something like if you're the neighbor across the street, to make a plan that ‘every night at 9 pm I’m going to turn on my living room light and if you don’t see that light go on, call the police,’” she says.

De Chateauvieux says anyone targeted by this kind of violence can contact Willow’s hotline for assistance at 585-222-SAFE.

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.