SLIDELL, La. – A text message cry for help may have saved a Clarksville woman’s life this weekend in Louisiana after she was allegedly kidnapped.
Slidell Police were contacted by a woman from Tennessee Saturday who said her sister had been kidnapped, raped, beaten and was being held against her will at a Slidell hotel.
After speaking with Tennessee authorities, it was determined that 34-year old Lee Meadows of Clarksville, Tennessee, was a suspect in the kidnapping of the woman.
Meadows was recently released from jail on domestic abuse related charges.
Slidell police swarmed the hotel in which the victim was being held captive and forced the door of the hotel room open after Meadows refused to answer the door.
Investigators said responding officers reportedly found the victim badly beaten and in need of medical attention inside the room.
Meadows surrendered without incident and remains jailed in Louisiana while awaiting extradition back to Tennessee.
The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of multiple injuries, including several broken bones. She is continuing to recover at a safe location.
The victim told police she was taken against her will from Tennessee and brought to Louisiana because Meadows wanted to get out of the state due to pending criminal charges.
Meadows allegedly had friends in the New Orleans area, which was why he decided to go to Louisiana.
He allegedly took all of the victim’s belongings, including her cell phone, so she couldn’t contact anyone.
After arriving in Slidell, Meadows checked into a local hotel where he allegedly beat, strangled and raped the victim.
The victim, not knowing where she was at, was able to locate a phone and send a text message for help to her sister; and indicated she was somewhere outside of New Orleans.
Her family did not know she was missing until they received the message.
Authorities in Tennessee were able to obtain the location in which the text message was sent, which ultimately led Slidell police to the hotel room.
Meadows was booked at the Slidell City Jail and charged with battery by strangulation, second degree battery, false imprisonment and forcible rape.
“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,” said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith.
Police said the victim knows Meadows, but did not elaborate on how she knows him.
Meadows has a lengthy arrest history in Montgomery County including multiple arrests for domestic assault, violating bond conditions and simple possession.