(NEW YORK) — An alleged sexual assault victim who says she was held against her will for months was rescued after she left notes in public restrooms pleading for help, according to authorities.
In one note she wrote, “If I don’t make it tell my family I love them,” according to a criminal complaint.
Police say the first cry for help was found Thursday, stuck to a mirror in the women’s bathroom of a Walmart in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh.
The note was from a woman who said she had been sexually and physically assaulted, and was being held against her will, by 38-year-old Corey Brewer, who was armed with a knife, according to the complaint. The note also gave an address where she was being held and a description of a car, and begged the reader to call 911.
The alleged victim’s ex told police she and Brewer were in a relationship and that she filed a protection from abuse order against Brewer in August 2020, they said. The order expired one month later.
Police went to the address written on the note. Though no one answered the door, according to the complaint, officers said they could hear furniture being moved around inside.
Officers called Brewer’s number and asked to speak to the victim privately, but Brewer allegedly told the officers he wouldn’t take her off speaker phone, the complaint said. In the speaker phone conversation, Brewer told the officers the two were on vacation in New York, and the victim told police she was with her boyfriend.
Two days later, on Saturday, a second note signed by the same victim was found stuck to a mirror in a women’s restroom at the Fallingwater museum and landmark in western Pennsylvania, the complaint said. Police say video surveillance from Fallingwater showed Brewer and the alleged victim there.
The note said she’d been held since May 1 and was not on vacation, and again pleaded with the reader to call 911, the complaint said. The note said “she heard the police knocking at the residence, that the abuse hasn’t stopped, and please don’t give up.”
Police executed a search warrant early Sunday, rescuing the alleged victim and taking Brewer into custody, the complaint said. The woman told police Brewer confiscated her phone and she wasn’t able to escape.
She said Brewer sexually assaulted her, and that he also punched and strangled her numerous times, the complaint said. She claimed Brewer also threatened to kill her and her children if she tried to leave.
The woman also alleged Brewer took nude photos of her against her will and used a knife to cut her foot, according to the complaint.
Brewer was charged with sexual assault, strangulation and unlawful restraint. He did not have an attorney as of Tuesday afternoon and is due in court for a preliminary hearing on July 22.
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