A Texas woman captured shackled with broken wrist shackles while ringing strangers’ doorbells in the middle of the night last month revealed herself in an exclusive interview with Inside Edition.
The mystery woman, who identified herself only as Lauren, said she fled from her boyfriend’s Montgomery home during the early morning hours of August 26, after she woke up to find him “kneeling” above her, while duct-taping her head and shoving cloths in her mouth.
“I was asleep and awoke to what seemed like a nightmare,” Lauren said. “I truly felt like when that was happening, like, I was going to die there that night.”
Lauren also said the suspect, later identified by police as 49-year-old Dennis Collins, raped her after binding her hands and feet together. Lauren said she managed to escape when Collins allowed to go into the kitchen for a drink.
“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.”
What happened next quickly made national news after a resident in the Sunrise Ranch subdivision released surveillance footage of Lauren frantically running to neighboring houses, wearing only a t-shirt and broken wrist shackles. She rang several doorbells in the neighborhood but quickly left when no one answered their doors.
Authorities arrived after a concerned citizen called for police assistance. Officers canvassed the neighborhood thoroughly and went door-to-door questioning the neighborhood’s residents, but no one seemed to know who she was or where she went. She had seemingly vanished.
Three days later, Montgomery authorities were called to a home in the Sunrise Ranch subdivision after someone asked them to conduct a welfare check on a person inside a residence off of Sunrise Pines. Once they arrived, officers found a deceased male inside the home, later identified as Collins.
“On August 29th 2018 at about 11 a.m. the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a welfare check call in the 18400 block of Sunrise Pines in the Sunrise Ranch subdivision,” Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Scott Spencer said during a press brief on August 29.
When officers walked inside Collins’ home, they found him in the back bedroom with a self-inflicted gunshot to his head. Authorities later indicated that Collins’ ex-wife was the individual who called in for the welfare check and explained to a dispatcher that Collins was likely suicidal. She was concerned after Collins reportedly sent her disturbing text messages.
According to Spencer, Collins was previously convicted of attempted sexual assault, a second-degree felony, in 2000. He served five years probation.
Had Collins been convicted of another sexual assault-related charge, the punishment would have probably increased, according to authorities. Although there is no confirmation that Collins committed suicide in fear of being convicted again, the incident happened shortly after the surveillance video of Lauren began trending online, eventually going viral and reaching the masses.
For the full report on “mystery woman” Lauren and more details on the incident, tune in on Monday, September 17 to Inside Edition. For stations and times in your area, check local listings at www.insideedition.com.
[Feature Photo: Lauren/Inside Edition; surveillance screenshot]