SPENCERPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — New details are emerging about the abduction of Jessica Northrup Tuesday night in Spencerport — and her past relationship with Paul Collen — the suspect.
Northrup was able to make it to safety Wednesday morning. Collen was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Ogden-Parma Townline Road.
Police Chief Chris Mears says their relationship goes back to at least 2017, when two incidents took place but were closed out. Then in September of this year, Chief Mears says Collen had a physical confrontation with Northrup and was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing.
Northrup filed an order of protection, which she upgraded to a full stay away order. After Collen was served with that, any contact with Northrup would have been a violation of that order.
On September 10th, Collen made contact with Northrup, kicking off a 2-day manhunt for him. Police were unable to locate him at that time.
On September 19th, Northrup had Collen arrested in violation of that order. Ogden police say due to bail reform changes, Collen was released from custody on an appearance ticket.
Police say Collen did have an active warrant out for his arrest at the time of his death. Police also said Collen was a military veteran struggling with mental health issues.
A statement from Willow Domestic Violence Center Tuesday morning said this incident spotlights the issue of domestic violence in the community:
“Jessica Northrup’s abduction, captivity, and escape highlight the fact that abusive relationships can escalate to dangerous levels of violence quickly. We stand with Jessica and we applaud her courage and strength. We applaud Chief Mears and the Ogden Police Department for their quick response to ensure justice. October is DV awareness month. This situation has put the spotlight on DV in our community.
Everyone deserves to be safe. If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive relationship, call Willow’s 24/7 Hotline at (585) 222-SAFE (2733) or text (585) 348-SAVE (7233).”