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University of Rochester Students Rescued After Kidnap Ordeal

Two college students were rescued by a SWAT team after being "forcibly abducted and held against their will" for more than a day.
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Editor's Note: The names of the two kidnapping victims in this story and a video report have been removed after it came to light several weeks after this story was published that they were also alleged to have been sexually assaulted. NBC News policy is to refrain from reporting the names of alleged victims of sexual abuse.

Two college students were rescued by a SWAT team Sunday after being "forcibly abducted and held against their will" during an ordeal lasting more than a day, officials said.

Four people were in taken into custody after the nighttime raid to free the University of Rochester seniors, who were both aged 21.

The two were reported missing about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. They had last been seen around 2 a.m. that morning near campus and were believed to have been traveling together in a 2005 BMW SUV, police said. The students are both originally from Chicago, according to NBC New York.

Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli told a press conference Sunday that the duo were recovering in hospital after being treated for injuries. NBC station WHEC quoted Ciminelli as saying it was a targeted attack. One of the victims suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, according to WHEC.

A SWAT team rescue was launched after investigators were able to determine the home where the students were being held, Ciminelli said.


University President Joel Seligman described "a collective sense of relief," adding: "This could have turned out in a very different way."

A university statement released Monday said that school officials could not offer additional details during the ongoing investigation. “We don’t believe there to be any further threat to the safety of our students or to community members here at the University of Rochester,” the statement said.

Police are still determining charges for those in custody but expect that some combination of assault and kidnapping charges will be filed, Ciminelli added.