Kidnapped Tenn. woman rescued in Slidell
SLIDELL - Police said a distressing text message saved the life of a kidnapped Tennessee woman who was recovered in Slidell this weekend.
Slidell Police said someone from Tennessee called them Saturday evening claiming her sister had been kidnapped, raped, beaten and was being held against her will at a hotel in Slidell.
Police went to the hotel and said they found Lee Meadows, 34, of Clarksville, Tennessee along with the kidnapped woman. Police said she had been beaten badly enough that some of her bones were broken, and she was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Investigators said Meadows was recently released from jail on domestic abuse charges. The victim told officers that she was kidnapped and brought to Louisiana because Meadows had pending criminal charges in Tennessee and wanted to flee authorities there.
Police said Meadows took all of the victim's belongings, including her cell phone, and checked into a local hotel where he beat, strangled and raped the woman. Investigators said the victim was able to send a single text message for help to her sister indicating that she was near New Orleans. Tennessee authorities traced the location of the text message, which led Slidell Police to the hotel.
"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," Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said. "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."
Police booked Meadows into the Slidell City Jail and charged him with battery by strangulation, second degree battery, false imprisonment and forcible rape.