This was how a text message cry out for help potentially saved a Tennessee woman’s life this past weekend in Slidell.
Early Saturday evening (June 6th), Slidell Police were contacted by a woman from Tennessee who stated 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 a woman, and was recently released from jail on domestic abuse related charges.
Slidell Police swarmed the hotel in which the victim was being held captive, and breached the door of the hotel room after Mr. Meadows refused to answer the door. When officers gained access to the room, they found the victim badly beaten and in need of medical attention. Mr. Meadows surrendered without incident and was placed under arrest. The victim was brought to a local hospital to be treated for multiple injuries, including broken bones. Slidell Police investigators then began to debrief the victim about her terrifying ordeal.
The victim told police she was taken against her will from Tennessee, and brought to Louisiana, because Mr. Meadows wanted to get out of the state due to pending criminal charges. Mr. Meadows allegedly had friends in the New Orleans area, which was why he decided to come to Louisiana.
Throughout the ordeal, Mr. Meadows took all of the victim’s belongings, including her cell phone, so she couldn’t contact anyone. After arriving in Slidell, Mr. Meadows checked into a local hotel, then continuously beat, strangled, and raped the victim. The victim, not knowing where she was at, was able to send a text message for help to her sister; indicating she was somewhere outside of New Orleans. Authorities in Tennessee were able to obtain the location in which the text message was sent, which ultimately led Slidell Police to the hotel.
Lee Meadows was booked at the Slidell City Jail and charged with: battery by strangulation, second degree battery, false imprisonment, and forcible rape. Mr. Meadows has since been transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said,
“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.