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UM issues alert for Bozeman rape suspect

By KTVM Staff
Published On: Feb 05 2014 03:54:22 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 05 2014 11:45:29 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A rape suspect who escaped from the Bozeman Law and Justice Center may be in Missoula, according to a text alert sent out by the University of Montana.

The text urged students to stay on alert for 28 year-old Kevin Briggs.

Bozeman Police explained Missoula is just one of the possible places Briggs could have gone. While they don't know if he is actually there, they said the University of Montana chose to send out the alert, and students said they are glad they received it.

University of Montana students received a text alert from the school around 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, saying that a Bozeman sex assault suspect could be in Missoula. The text urged them to keep an eye out, and call 911 right away if they see Kevin Briggs.

"I'm wondering how he got to Missoula," said Emily Rohrlach, an MSU student.

"You just got to be alert which I think you should be all the time," said student Amy Beeale.

When we sat down with Bozeman Chief of Police Ron Price to find out the details, he said the police department has been working closely with other agencies to track Briggs down.

"Missoula's lead is one of several, both within the state and out of the state," Price said.

With Missoula being just one of several leads, we asked why the University of Montana would send out an alert, he said once UM found out about the possibility of Briggs being in the area, it was their judgment call to make.

"I don't believe it's a more credible lead than any of the others, and I think the level of comfort they have are their decisions to make," he said.

Price said they will continue to follow every lead until they find Briggs, and said it's one of the department's top priorities.

"Pretty much the entirety of the detective division is dedicated to it right now," Price explained.

University of Montana students said they appreciated the text alert, and hope authorities find him soon.

"I think it's wise that we have that kind of security on our campus, and we have those blue markers to indicate for safety," said student Kelsey Hansen, "but overall having a picture along with it, not just a description, is really key."

We asked what other places the department is following up on for Briggs' whereabouts, but they wouldn't say, but said they are working closely with other agencies to find him.

The following statement was sent to University of Montana students at 3:43 p.m.: Bozeman police have reported that Kevin Briggs, a suspect in a weekend assault and rape case and who escaped, might be in Missoula. UM and Missoula law enforcement ask you to be on the lookout for him. Description: age 28, 5 feet 5 inches tall, medium build, weight 150 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes. Bozeman police say Briggs also has gone by these names: Amiee Macintire, James Zenon Meismer.

Briggs was reported to have been on probation. He was reported to have been convicted for kidnapping and raping a girl in Helena in early 2003, and convicted of escape in Lewis and Clark County in 2003 and in Powell County in 2004.

Call campus police at 243-4000, or 911 if you have information about him.