UGA abductions may be related

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ATHENS, Ga. --- A Colbert, Ga., man who police arrested last week after he was accused of trying to force his way into a University of Georgia student's apartment has bonded out of jail and isn't due to be arraigned until January.

Detectives, meanwhile, continue to investigate the abductions of college-age women, one of whom said she was raped.

Police would not say if 24-year-old Joseph Taylor Mills is a suspect in the abductions --- one in May and two in September.

"We're basically where we were at on Friday," when police arrested Mr. Mills on misdemeanor stalking and battery charges, Athens-Clarke police Maj. Mark Sizemore said Monday. "We haven't related (Mr. Mills) to any other crimes in Athens."

Police are not releasing Mr. Mills' photograph because, Maj. Sizemore said, "We're utilizing the photograph as part of our investigation."

Mr. Mills is accused of approaching a group of young women on North Avenue in his early Oct. 18 as they walked home from downtown, police said.

After one of the women turned down his offer of a ride, Mr. Mills showed up at her front door in Whistlebury Commons off North Avenue and fondled and tried to kiss her as he attempted to talk his way in, police said.

He was released from Clarke County Jail Sunday after posting a $7,500 bond. He is scheduled to appear Jan. 23 in Athens-Clarke County State Court.

Crime Stoppers offered a reward of up to $1,000 in the case, and is still offering a reward in the three unsolved kidnappings.

In those assaults, a man in a white van offered rides to female students, took them to an isolated area and attacked them. One of the students reported she was raped, but the others escaped.

The man in the two September assaults was described as white, in his 20s driving a large, late-model white passenger van with rows of seats.

One woman who escaped from a white van in May described her abductor as older, but police haven't ruled out the possibility all three assaults are related.


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