Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


On the scene …

An early-afternoon phone call to police triggered an immediate

dispatch of ambulances, fire trucks and police to the scene where

University of Wisconsin sophomore Audrey Ruth Seiler would soon be


recovered after her mysterious disappearance Saturday around 2:30


Roads were blocked off, railroad signals were turned on and

passersby were turned away from what had just become a crime scene

the crime scene police would search for hours in hopes

of finding the unknown and unseen yet “armed and dangerous” suspect

at large.

Police kept a tight lock on the enclosed area, turning the

outside borders of John Nolen Drive and Rimrock Road into a frenzy,

while agents and officers held their guns drawn and trained toward

the enclosed marshy area.

Standstill traffic and wide-eyed drivers brought the seriousness

of the event home to Madisonians, while every nearby corner shone

with the incongruous juxtaposition of flashing lights with

overwhelming silence.

The somber, silent and anxious atmosphere for the typically busy

John Nolen Drive was interrupted only by the atypical buzz of

helicopters, planes and camera clicks nearby.

Madison, a typically upbeat yet generally calm city apart from

State Street, was and is receiving national attention for the

events at hand. Not only were news affiliates seeking information,

individuals nationwide were looking for ways to aid in the search

and bring this 20-year-old back home.

The tension and suspense were apparent: Police were rapidly

searching, and even a distant observer could see that tactics were

being exhausted.

However, while the perimeter was declared a two- to

three-square-mile radius and hence closed tightly, close family and

friends convened under police protection inside the Holiday Inn

where they had been staying for the week — ironically located just

yards away across John Nolen Drive.

On the other side of the street, a small number of reporters

gathered near Assistant Fire Chief Carl B. Saxe, the sole figure

relaying information to anxious journalists.

“There is a possibility we will be here all night long,” Saxe

said in response to the ongoing search. However, just a few hours

later, the closed-off perimeter would fall under looser watch as

police quietly ended the day’s search in vain. An anticipated

standoff or showdown did not occur.

The search techniques had been exhausted, but the missing

student was back in contact with relieved family and friends

providing a bittersweet ending to the story that provoked campus

talk, campus unity, campus aid and nationwide concern. However, the

suspect remains at large, along with the details of the


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