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Kidnap try possibly linked to BYU coed?

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Brooke Wilberger

Brooke Wilberger

A man arrested in Oregon for allegedly trying to kidnap a college student is being called a "person of interest" by police in the disappearance of a Brigham Young University coed.

Aaron Evans, 21, Albany, was arrested last Thursday for allegedly grabbing a woman a block and a half from where BYU student Brooke Wilberger was last seen.

Police say Evans attacked a 20-year-old Oregon State University student shortly after leaving a hospital where his wife was staying.

The day before, Evans' wife had given birth to the couple's child, police said.

The woman said she was on a morning walk when a man jumped out of the bushes and tried to grab her by the shoulders. The woman screamed for help, escaped the man's grip and ran to a nearby motel to call police. The man fled the scene.

Evans was arrested and booked into the Benton County Jail for investigation of attempted kidnapping, attempted sex abuse, menacing and harassment

He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Meanwhile, investigators are researching Evans' whereabouts on May 24 — the day Wilberger disappeared. Police say no connections have been established so far.

"Any time you have a new name and unique circumstances, that raises a little hope," said Corvallis Police Capt. John Sassaman. "But these investigators have been at this a long time, and they know how to put it all into perspective."

Wilberger was allegedly abducted from an apartment complex in Corvallis more than four months ago. At her disappearance, several of her personal belongings were left behind, including flip-flop thongs she had been wearing and her cell phone.

Corvallis police have a list of other people who they have labeled "people of interest" in the Wilberger abduction case.

E-mail: achoate@desnews.com