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Woman rescued after sending text message from kidnapper’s phone

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-10 22:01:10-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — A woman who was reportedly kidnapped from Clarksville and then raped, beaten and strangled was found in Louisiana over the weekend, and police say a text message helped to save her life.

The victim’s sister reached out to police in Slidell, LA, on June 6 after she received a text message from the victim saying she was being held captive at a hotel outside of New Orleans, according to WSMV.

Police in Tennessee were able to track down where the text message was sent from, leading officers in Slidell to the victim’s location.

Officers found the victim inside a hotel room. They said she was “badly beaten and in need of medical attention.” She was later taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries, including broken bones.

The man suspected of kidnapping her, 34-year-old Lee Meadows, surrendered without incident to police.

“Had it not been for the determination of the victim to survive, and the swift actions by Tennessee authorities and the officers at the Slidell Police Department, we could easily be working a homicide right now,” said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith in a news release.

The victim said Meadows took her out of Tennessee because of pending criminal charges for domestic abuse. He reportedly came to Louisiana because he had friends in the area.

Meadows is accused of raping, beating and strangling the victim at the hotel. He is charged with battery by strangulation, second-degree battery, false imprisonment and forcible rape.