The woman caught on surveillance video in Texas wearing wrist shackles and ringing doorbells in the middle of the night has spoken on camera about her ordeal.
Asked that she be identified only by her first name, Lauren spoke to Inside Edition about the night she was captured on camera in a chilling video that sparked a desperate search to find her.
Barefoot, wearing a T-shirt and what appeared to be restraints on her wrists, the 32-year-old rang doorbells in the Montgomery neighborhood in the middle of the night looking for help. After one homeowner shared the surveillance video with police, it was posted online where it went viral in an attempt to find her.
The mystery woman was found safe with family members days later and described by authorities as “a family violence victim.”
Her boyfriend, Dennis Ray Collins, fatally shot himself five days after the disturbing footage was posted.
“I was asleep and awoke to what seemed like a nightmare,” Lauren told Inside Edition in an interview set to air Monday. Her boyfriend was “kneeling” above her, she recounted, “stuffing some sort of cloths in my mouth, duct-taping my entire head.”
The terrifying moment had her fearing for her life.
“I truly felt like when that was happening, like, I was going to die there that night,” she said. “There was nothing behind his eyes, it scared me and I didn’t feel like it was the person I knew.”
She shared that Collins, whom she had dated for four months, raped her after binding her hands and feet with restraints.
“I just kept repeating in my head, ‘God has more for me than this, I’m not going to die here tonight,’” she said, then recounting her escape.
“My throat hurt really bad from screaming so he let me go into the kitchen to get a drink, and I while I was getting a drink, he turned around to go out and walked to the bedroom, and that’s when I ran out the front door,” she said.
Desperately trying to get help, she tried to flag down a car but when the driver did not stop, she headed to a neighbor’s home and rang the doorbell, feeling “panic, just terror.”
“I just wanted someone to lay eyes on me,” she said. “I felt like if someone saw me, then I would be safe.”
She managed to get to a friend’s house and later to her family in Dallas where police caught up with her as they closed in on Collins who shot himself, leaving behind a note.
“I never would’ve killed you as you thought,” he wrote in the letter Lauren shared with Inside Edition. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done and I wish I could turn back time. Love Dennis. Yes, love. I’m sorry.”
While Lauren admitted a sense of guilt over Collins’ suicide, she is sure that the video of her ringing the doorbell that night after 3:00 a.m. may have saved her life.
“I worry that if this video didn’t come out, and if he were not gone, that I eventually would be,” she said.
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