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Father pleads for safe return of 19-year-old missing Snow College student


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EPHRAIM — The father of a 19-year-old missing Snow College student says he believes his daughter is "facing a major mental health crisis and needs help."

During a press conference held at the Ephraim school Thursday afternoon, Jonathan Allen offered a heartfelt plea to his daughter and the public in hopes that his words would "increase the speed and success in the search" for Madelyn Allen, who was last seen leaving her Snow Hall apartment at 9:22 p.m. Monday.

Snow College Police Chief Derek Walk offered no new information, other than to say that Madelyn Allen had her cellphone with her at the time she left the building and investigators are working to track messages. Walk said there's an ongoing investigation into her disappearance that the FBI is providing assistance with, noting that "the FBI often provides assistance in cases like these."

The police chief said he believes this is an isolated incident, and that there is no reason to believe that others in the area are in danger at this time.

Jonathan Allen said his daughter has faced several challenges in her life.

"Maddie was born prematurely at 26 weeks and only 1½ pounds, with a brain bleed," he explained. "Since then, she has faced myriad of challenges, including disability as well as mental and emotional difficulties. Despite all of this, she has overcome challenges. ... Dear Maddie, if you can hear us, you're not alone. Many people are facing similar challenges and have faced challenges like this. We know that you are brave and you are strong. We see you, and we love you beyond our ability to express. We are here for you, and we're anxious for you to come home and be with us for Christmas."

Snow College officials encouraged anyone who saw anything strange happen at Snow Hall around the time Madelyn Allen disappeared to contact the Sanpete County dispatch by calling 435-835-3345. Anyone with tips is also encouraged to call the same number.

A Facebook account has also been set up to assist in the search, under Help Find Maddie Allen.

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Crisis Hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-691-5433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

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Arianne Brown is a breaking news reporter for KSL.com. She also enjoys finding and sharing stories of everyday Utahns, a talent she developed over several years of freelance writing for various Utah news outlets.

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