College graduation day should be a day of joy and pride, both for the student who worked hard to earn their degree and for that student’s family who supported them throughout the process. There were many sleepless nights and tears shed along the way, but when a student walks up on the stage and accepts their diploma they can finally utter a sigh of relief because they have finally made it.
That’s how the day should have played out for one unidentified San Jose State University student. Her family and friends all arrived on campus to support the graduate in what should have been one of her proudest moments, but when her name was called from the roster of her graduating class no one took the stage. There was a momentary pause and her name was called again. Again, no one approached the podium.
A wave of confusion swept over those who were there to support the woman in her crowning achievement, then panic set in. Her family immediately called San Jose police to report that the woman had been missing when she failed to show up to her own graduation.
The SJSU student who was supposed to be at her graduation on May 27, 2017, was located later that night running alongside the highway in Oregon. According to police who responded to the scene, the student appeared frightened.
KRON 4 initially reported that Bandon, Oregon police were told by the student that she had been kidnapped. The student claimed that she was approached by a mixed African American and Hispanic man in his mid-30s and forced by knifepoint to drive to Oregon. The woman further reported that she was able to escape after her car had run out of gas. From there she hid in the tall grass along Highway 101 until she felt safe enough to flag someone down.
After Bandon police combed the area the victim’s car had been located in order to track down the suspect, their search came up empty. Once they had taken down the alleged victim’s report, Bandon police then contacted the police in San Jose, as well as the FBI to begin the investigation on this mysterious criminal who had kidnapped the recent graduate.
Meanwhile, the alleged victim was transported to a Coos Bay hospital to receive treatment for facial injuries she claimed occurred when the suspect had struck her. The Coos County Women’s Safety and Resource Center then provided her with an advocate and housed the woman until her family arrived to transport her back to San Jose.
What began as a terrifying story about what should have been one of the happiest days of the 22-year-old woman’s life quickly turned on its head. In a case that seems to be getting weirder by the second, the woman has now recanted her story.
San Jose police have reported to the media that the woman admitted to fabricating the entire kidnapping from start to finish. Police are continuing to investigate the case and are attempting to learn why the student went to such great lengths to concoct such a horrific tale.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reported to The Mercury News that once police complete their investigation the case will be forwarded to the county prosecutor who will determine what criminal charges the woman may be facing.