A Text To Her Sister Saves Slidell Kidnap, Rape Victim — Captor Had Just Been Released From Jail

A Tennessee kidnap victim is likely very grateful both to a devoted sister and something as routine as texting. Thanks to both, she was rescued from the clutches of a violent man who took her across state lines to Slidell, La., where he allegedly raped and beat her.

That man, Lee Meadows, 34, is now in jail, awaiting a kidnap charge in Tennessee. He has already been facing a number of other charges that speak to the horror his captive endured: battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and forcible rape, the Leaf Chronicle reported.

The kidnap victim was snatched from Clarksville, Tenn., driven 500 miles from home to a hotel in Slidell, just outside New Orleans. She apparently knew Meadows, but it’s not clear how, WKRN reported; he headed to Louisiana because he had friends there and wanted to get out of the state because of pending criminal charges.

Slidell police say Meadows took his kidnap victim to the hotel, checked them in, then ” continuously beat, strangled, and raped” her. He’d also stolen everything she had on her, including her cell phone.

But the kidnap victim kept her wits. Though she had no clue where she was, she was able to access a cell phone and send a text to her sister on Saturday, saying she was somewhere outside New Orleans in a hotel.

Her family had no idea she was missing.

The sister then called Slidell Police, who used the text to track the phone’s location. Officers descended on the hotel, kicked down the door when Meadows wouldn’t answer, and he surrendered without putting up a fight.

They found his kidnap victim badly beaten. She was taken to the hospital and treated for broken bones and other injuries, and is now recovering at a safe location.

Though her captor is now in a Slidell jail, he had just been released after serving time for domestic abuse-related charge. His arrest history is prolific, including arrests for domestic assault, violating bond, and possession.

After she had been freed, Slidell police lauded her bravery. Otherwise, they’d be telling a very different story.

“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. Hopefully our criminal justice system will put Mr. Meadows away for a long time to where he won’t be able to hurt anyone ever again.”

[Photo Courtesy Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

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