Kidnapped college student uses cell phone to call for help

CHERRYVILLE, NC (WBTV) - A Conover, NC student was carjacked and kidnapped after leaving her campus job at Lenoir-Rhyne University early Wednesday morning.

The victim, Jessica Muniz, had been working at the Bear's Lair, which is a restaurant on campus. After leaving work, the 18-year-old got into her vehicle to drive home.

Police said a man was hiding inside the vehicle, pulled a handgun on Muniz and forced her to drive him to Cherryville. At some point, Muniz used her cell phone to make contact with her brother who lives in Virginia.

Her brother then called their father who lives in Conover. Her father immediately contacted the Hickory Police Department around 1:20 a.m. and reported the kidnapping.

Once Muniz and the man arrived in Cherryville, he got out of her car. He got into a waiting red pickup truck occupied by another man. Both of the men drove away.

Muniz was not injured, police said.

The suspect is described as a slender black male who is 5' 8" to 6' tall.  He has a mustache, dreadlocks touching his shoulders, and a long, thick beard touching his chest.  He was wearing dark clothing.

The Hickory Police Department has collected evidence from the victim's car and they're also reviewing surveillance video from Lenoir-Rhyne University in an effort to identify the suspect.

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