Family of abducted Spencerport woman: ‘We don’t know how she got away’

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OGDEN, N.Y. (WROC) — Family members of the Spencerport woman who was found safe Wednesday morning after an abduction are expressing relief after a bad situation could have been worse.

The sister of 43-year-old Jessica Northrup gave us more in-depth information about the relationship she had with 52-year-old Paul Collen, and the red flags they had seen from their time together over the years.  

After Jessica had been missing for almost 12 hours, the Northrup family recalls the relief they felt to hear the news Jessica was found safely.  

“We don’t really know how she got away. I’m just thankful that she did,” her sister Deborah Deegan said. “From what she did tell the one person in our family was that he had her tied up at that location where they found him. For about 8-10 hours she was zip-tied with quite a few injuries.”  

Northrup and Collen were believed to be on and off in a long-term relationship, according to the family, having four kids together. As time went on, her family and neighbors noticed things between them changing, accusing Collen of being the aggressor.  

Deegan says over the last four to six weeks her sister had finally decided to stand up for herself and had tried to separate from him.

“Having gotten an order of protection, she went back and got a stronger one and was doing everything she could to get away from this abusive relationship,” Deegan said.

In 2020 the Willow Domestic Violence Center of Rochester reported 8,000 calls received to their 24/7 emergency hotline from victims of domestic violence incidents. They stress communities need to be on the lookout for one another and know the signs of abusive relationships unfolding.  

“When there is a moment of commitment that is when the abuse can start and escalate,” Willow CEO Meaghan Dechateauvieux explained. “So, we hear a lot from people after their wedding, after their child is born, after they buy a home together the abuse starts and can get worse.” 

Jessica eventually found the strength to leave her abuser, according to her sister. This morning she escaped again and calling upon her that strength drove herself to the Ogden Police Station. 

While Jessica Northrup continues to recover in the hospital, her sister told us as of this evening only one relative has been able to see her as the investigation continues. They add she is a caring mother who also works in the healthcare industry and is glad she is getting support from others.  

If you know someone involved in a domestic dispute with their partner you can encourage them to get help by calling the Willow Domestic Violence emergency hotline which is operated 24/7 at 585-222-7233. 

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