A clever woman is being hailed for arranging her own rescue from an allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend in Pennsylvania, after she left a series of detailed pleas for help in public bathrooms.
The woman was allegedly held captive for several months, during which time the suspect sexually and physically assaulted her, according to police. She managed to get a few moments away from her captor last week, which allowed her to leave two notes that ultimately led to her rescue.
Corey Brewer, 38, now faces charges of sexual assault, strangulation and unlawful restraint in connection with the case, according to a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News.
The victim sent out her first call for help last Thursday, when she scribbled a note and stuck it to the mirror in a women’s bathroom at a Walmart in Carnegie, Pa., police said.
“If I don’t make it, tell my family I love them,” the note read, according to the criminal complaint filed in court.
The note laid out the woman’s dire situation, identified her captor, described his car and even provided an address for where she was being held, police said. The woman urged whoever read the note to call 911.
Authorities say they went to the address on the note and knocked on the door. No one answered, but officers could hear furniture moving around inside the house, according to the complaint.
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Police then called the suspect’s phone number and found themselves speaking to him and the victim on speaker phone. The suspect told the officers that the two of them were in a relationship, and that they were out of town on vacation in New York, according to the complaint. The victim also referred to the suspect as her “boyfriend” on the call. He refused to let her speak with police in private.
On Saturday, a second note surfaced in the bathroom of Fallingwater museum in the southwest part of the state.
The victim told police that she was not on vacation, and that her ex had been holding her captive since May 1. She said she heard the officers knock at the door a few days earlier, and she pleaded with them to keep going.
“Please don’t give up,” she wrote.
Authorities reviewed surveillance footage at the museum and saw the suspect and the victim there together earlier in the day, according to the criminal complaint.
Police obtained a search warrant and entered the suspect’s home on Sunday. They arrested the suspect and freed the victim, who ultimately shared the rest of her story with investigators.
She accused the suspect of taking away her phone and holding her captive for months. She said he’d punched and strangled her numerous times, and that he’d threatened to kill her and her children if she ever left. He also allegedly took nude photos of her against her will and cut her foot with a knife, according to the criminal complaint.
Brewer is due to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on July 22.