A half-naked woman who appeared shackled and desperately looking to escape in a video that went viral has now revealed what was going through her mind on that night.
The woman, who was previously identified as a “victim of family violence,” came forward for an interview with Inside Edition, but requested to be identified only as Lauren.
A camera was rolling in the early hours of Aug. 24 when Lauren, clearly in dismay and in need of help, appeared at the front door of a neighboring home.
Lauren said her boyfriend Dennis Collins, who took his own life after the video went viral, “kne[lt] on my chest and [was] stuffing some sort of cloths in my mouth, duct taping my entire head” that night.
She said that there was “nothing behind his eyes” and she thought that was the night she was going to die. Lauren said she and Collins dated for four months before the night she was restrained and raped, according the New York Daily News.
Lauren said that she only escaped when Collins let her get a glass of water. When the time was right, she ran out of the front door.
“I just kept repeating in my head, ‘God has more for me than this, I’m not going to die here tonight,” Lauren recalled her thoughts.
The video fills in some of the gaps from there. Lauren was later confirmed safe and staying with relatives in Dallas. Collins, days later, was found dead in his residence.
Lieutenant Scott Spencer made the following statement on Collins’ death while addressing the press at a news conference:
Deputies received information that a male had made suicidal threats and comments. When deputies arrived at the scene, they were unable to get an answer at the door. At that time, they forced entry into the residence. Searching the residence, deputies found a 49-year-old white male, deceased. The preliminary cause of death at this time is a single gunshot wound, I believe self-inflicted. The decedent’s girlfriend, a 32-year-old white female, who was not on scene when deputies arrived, is confirmed to be the female in the doorbell video that has been circulating around on the internet. Due to the female’s status as a family violence victim, the female’s identity cannot be released at this time. We can confirm that the female is safe and that she is with family at this time.
According to local ABC affiliate KTRK, Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies connected Collins and Lauren to one another following a “suspicious shooting” incident in the Sunrise Ranch subdivision, some 55 miles north of Houston.
Following a “a welfare check call,” authorities arrived to find the man already dead–and an apparent suicide note connecting him to the woman in the doorbell-ringing video.
“The male did leave a suicide note to help identify the female and some of the circumstances about why this occurred,” Spencer said. “There’s some issues obviously with the video surveillance, why she was wearing those restraints and the circumstances surrounding it. We only have one side of a story right now.”
During the Inside Edition interview, Lauren read the suicide note Collins left.
“I never would’ve killed you as you thought,” the letter said. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done and I wish I could turn back time. Love Dennis. Yes, love. I’m sorry.”
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[Images via Inside Edition screengrab]