Slidell Police: Kidnapped woman saved by text message

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Slidell Police arrest a Tennessee man after a woman he allegedly kidnapped alerted family using a text message. Police credit the alleged victim's determination to survive which led to the arrest.

Investigators say 34-year-old Lee Meadows of Clarksville, TN took the woman against her will because Meadows wanted to get out of the state due to pending criminal charges. Meadows reportedly chose the New Orleans area because of friends.

According to a press release, Meadows took all the victim's belongings, including her cell phone, so that she couldn't contact anyone. The victim says Meadows beat, choked and raped her several times once they arrived at a Slidell hotel. Investigators say the victim was eventually able to cry out for help after getting a hold of a phone to send a text message to her sister.

Tennessee authorities learned about her plight and contacted the Slidell Police Department.

Officers busted down a hotel door Saturday evening and arrested Meadows. The victim was treated at a hospital for several injuries, including broken bones. 

Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said, "Hopefully our criminal justice system will put Mr. Meadows away for a long time where he won't be able to hurt anyone ever again."

Meadows has been transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail where he now faces several charges, including second-degree battery and forcible rape.

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