Last week, the world waited with bated breath to find out more information on the mystery woman in wrist restraints seen wandering a Montgomery County neighborhood near Houston, Texas. She wandered from house to house in the Sunrise Ranch neighborhood, ringing doorbells and running away after only a few moments, and all that police had to go on was the doorbell camera video. The victim was shown wearing wrist restraints and only a t-shirt, prompting concern that she was being held against her will.
Social media mobilized in the following days after seeing the frightening doorbell video, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was able to piece together the full story, which took a sinister twist. The house the barefoot woman was escaping from was her boyfriend’s, Dennis Collins. On August 29, 2018, police announced that they entered Collins’ home and found that he had committed suicide with a single gunshot wound to the head. Police also found a suicide note confirming that the 32-year-old woman on the security camera videos was indeed his girlfriend.
The victim, who is remaining anonymous because she is classified as a sexual assault victim, wanted to send a message to the world. The domestic violence victim spoke with Deborah Wrigley on ABC 13 Eyewitness News, telling her side of the story and also releasing a statement.
“I want to first give thanks to the many people across the globe who prayed for me. Their prayers gave me strength. Their kindness reminded me that there is beauty in this world.
I am aware that several families had some hope that I was their missing loved one. That hurt my heart. I wish that I could hug each of them and somehow help them to heal. If there is anything I can do for any of you, I would be honored.
I don’t want to get into any of the specifics of that evening, other than to say that I was in a lot of fear for my safety. I was not aware of the video until Wednesday afternoon. It is truly difficult to understand the duality that exists within each of us. People would like to paint Dennis or myself as entirely good or entirely evil, light or dark, every human has both of these inside. It is hard to understand how someone who treated me with such kindness is the person I saw that night. I’m sure it was hard for Dennis to accept the dark parts of me. I can be selfish. I have done things most would be ashamed of and I had a dependence on a substance because of a serious injury.
It would be easy to have resentment in our minds and hearts, but fear, hatred, and shame only create more fear, hatred, and shame.
Love is the only thing in this world to create light where there was none. I hope that in this transforming time in society we are able to choose love more often.
I forgave Dennis long before he was gone, and love him. I know he too forgave and loved me. I know I will fall short daily, but I hope to continue to choose to be loved. And I hope that for us all.”
Lt. Scott Spencer of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office gave a press conference on August 29, updating the public on the unusual case that captivated the nation. Here is the full text of his report.
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. Deputies received information a male made suicidal comments. When deputies arrived on scene they could not get an answer at the door and due to the circumstances made forced entry into the home. A man was found deceased inside the home. The male was identified as a 49 year old white male. They preliminary cause of death is believed to be a single gunshot wound. The deceased’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 ring video. Due to the female’s status as a family violence victim, the female’s identity can not be released at this time. The female is confirmed to be safe and with family. The investigation will continue.
The female that we have all been looking for has been identified and is safe. She is currently outside Montgomery County and our investigators will be meeting with her to continue the investigation.
Lieutenant Scott Spencer
As this bizarre case comes to a close, we send our best wishes to the victim and her family. May she remain safe in Dallas and begin to work toward moving past this frightening and tragic incident.