A 32-year-old man in Lincolnwood, Illinois was arrested by police after breaking into an elderly woman’s home and holding her hostage for 17 hours. Police were called by the woman’s family to do a wellness check after she failed to send her daughter the usual morning Wordle puzzle.
Be warned, while all escaped unscathed, some of the details of this story are disturbing.
As reported by CBS Chicago, on February 5, 80-year-old Denyse Holt was sleeping alone at home when a naked man covered in blood slipped into her bed in the middle of the night. She says she stayed calm as the man got into her bed and promised Holt that he didn’t plan to “harm” her or “molest” her.
The man then told her to get out of bed and to take a shower with him, before changing his mind and telling Holt that he “wasn’t warm enough” and instead they took a bath together. After getting in and out of the bath multiple times, she was then dragged into the basement bathroom and locked inside by the man who she says was bleeding profusely after cutting himself while breaking in through a window.
According to Holt, she stayed calm during the whole ordeal and did whatever he said as she was just “trying to survive.”
“He took two knives from my kitchen. He told me he liked those,” she told CBS Chicago. “I didn’t think I was going to live.”
Holt spent 17 hours locked inside the basement’s bathroom, cut off from the outside world and alone. According to her, she stretched and marched around as much as she could during her time in captivity.
By morning, Holt’s family—who live across the country—began to think something was off. Specifically, Holt’s daughter, Meredith Holt-Caldwell, noticed something odd. The daughter, who lives in Seattle, regularly receives the daily Wordle puzzle from her mother. But that day she didn’t get the usual text.
“I didn’t send my older daughter a Wordle in the morning. And that was disconcerting to her,” explained Holt.
After being unable to reach Holt and not getting her daily Wordle text, her family called the police, and on February 6 at around 9:40 p.m. officers reached her home in Lincolnwood and performed a wellness check. They then discovered 32-year-old James H. Davis III, and after a tense, hours-long stand-off with local SWAT, they arrested the man. The mentally ill Davis has been charged with multiple felonies including home invasion with a dangerous weapon, aggravated kidnapping while armed with a dangerous weapon, and aggravated assault against a peace officer. Holt was physically unharmed, adding that she was “very lucky.”
“I never thought in a million years this is what was happening, but it was,” said Holt’s daughter.