People who have been kidnapped or held captive have found many ways to discreetly signal for assistance. Their captors watch them constantly, but when an opportunity comes up to make a cry for help, victims have to be ready to take it.
For one woman in Scott Township, Pennsylvania, that moment came in the form of a bathroom break at a Walmart in Carnegie on July 8.
Before leaving the facilities, she positioned a handwritten note on the bathroom mirror in the hopes that someone would spot it and call police.
Someone did spot it, and Scott Township police were soon called — but not soon enough to save her that day.
The note listed the writer’s name, her alleged captor’s name, the address where she was being held and a vehicle description, and explained that she was being physically and sexually assaulted. The note also warned that her captor, identified as Corey Brewer, was armed with a knife.
According to WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, the name rang a bell with police, who had had previous encounters with him, though the nature of those encounters was not revealed.
Police visited the home on July 8, but no one answered. According to Centre Daily, officers did hear what sounded like furniture being moved around inside the condo.
The next day, police called Brewer and asked to speak with the woman. He refused to take her off speakerphone, though, and the woman told them Brewer was her boyfriend.
On Saturday, the woman left another note, this time in the restroom of the Fallingwater museum, a house in Mill Run designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This note said she’d been a captive since the beginning of May and pleaded with authorities to continue their attempts to reach her.
“It states that she heard the police knocking at the residence, that the abuse hadn’t stopped, and please don’t give up,” police said. “The note states, ‘If I don’t make it, tell my family I love them.’ It also states that she is scared and that the last messages sent from her phone sent to her family were not sent by her.”
Police were able to make contact with the woman’s ex-boyfriend and father of her two children. He said he was in the process of listing her as missing as he hadn’t had contact with her since April. He also said he knew of Brewer and that Brewer was abusive.
Surveillance cameras at the museum showed Brewer with the woman, according to WTAE. Police were able to obtain a search warrant on Sunday, at which point SWAT was able to take Brewer into custody.
The woman was taken to the hospital, and authorities confirmed that she had bruises. She told police that she had been threatened, beaten, strangled and sexually abused.
“[The woman] stated that she was terrified to leave because Brewer had told her that he would kill her and that he would kill her children if she tried to leave,” police said.
Brewer faces multiple charges, including terroristic threatening, unlawful restraint, strangulation, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual assault.
In a move that many observers questioned, Brewer was held on a $5,000 bail, of which he posted $500 and was released.
He was back home Tuesday but declined to give a statement, according to WTAE.
Time will tell if there’s more to this story than is being told now, but in the meantime, many are concerned for the woman’s well-being.
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