The woman at the center of the Texas doorbell mystery is recounting the ordeal, telling Inside Edition about the events behind the frightened image that later went viral across the country.
“I was asleep and awoke to what seemed like a nightmare,” the woman, who asked to be identified as Lauren in our report, told Inside Edition.
He captor and ex-boyfriend, Dennis Collins, shot and killed himself five days after the disturbing video was posted, as police closed in on him.
He wrote Lauren a goodbye letter, which she has revealed to Inside Edition.
“I never would've killed you as you thought,” he wrote. “I'm sorry for what I’ve done and I wish I could turn back time. Love Dennis. Yes, love. I'm sorry.”
Lauren admits she feels a sense of guilt over her boyfriend's suicide, but believes the doorbell video may have saved her life.
“I worry that if this video didn't come out, and if he were not gone, that I eventually would be,” she said.
Lauren said was asleep at the house she shared with Collins in Montgomery, located outside Houston, when he attacked her.
“I woke up and he was kneeling on my chest and stuffing some sort of cloths in my mouth, duct taping my entire head,” she said. “I truly felt like when that was happening, like, I was going to die there that night. There was nothing behind his eyes, it scared me and I didn’t feel like it was the person I knew.”
Lauren said Collins, whom she had been dating for four months, bound her hands and feet together with restraints and then raped her.
“I just kept repeating in my head, ‘God has more for me than this, I’m not going to die here tonight,’” she recalled.
Lauren explained how she managed to escape.
“My throat hurt really bad from screaming so he let me go into the kitchen to get a drink, and I while I was getting a drink, he turned around to go out and walked to the bedroom, and that's when I ran out the front door,” she recalled.
When Lauren escaped, she ran into her dark neighborhood at about 3 a.m. Barefoot and still wearing shackles, she was in a desperate search for help.
She said she tried to flag a car down but they just took off. That's when she approached a stranger's house.
She said she started ringing the doorbell over and over and felt “panic, just terror.”
“I just wanted someone to lay eyes on me," she said. "I felt like if someone saw me, then I would be safe."
Lauren fled to a friend's house and later sought sanctuary with her family in Dallas.