A woman who was seen in a viral video ringing doorbells in the middle of the night in Montgomery, Texas with shackles on her wrists has spoken out after her boyfriend committed suicide.
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, spoke out about the incident to KTRK, saying at the time of the video, which was taken the morning of Aug. 24, she "was in a lot of fear for my safety."
She declined to provide specifics about that night but police have said the woman was unlawfully restrained and sexually assaulted by her boyfriend Dennis Ray Collins, 49, before she was able to break free and try to seek help from neighbors.
She was unable to find help, however, and returned to the home she shared with Collins before driving to Dallas to stay with family.
The woman said her boyfriend's behavior that night "wasn't the man I knew."
While she said she was very afraid the night she sought help from neighbors, the 32-year-old woman said she had forgiven Collins "long before he was gone" and still loved him.
"It is truly difficult to understand the duality that exists within each of us. People would like to paint Dennis or myself as entirely good or entirely evil, light or dark, every human has both of these inside," she said in a statement given to the local news channel. "It is hard to understand how someone who treated me with such kindness is the person I saw that night."
Collins was found dead Wednesday in his home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said.
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Spencer said in a press conference that Collins had admitted fault for what he'd done in the notes he'd left behind.
The woman said she was unaware of the viral video that surfaced of her that night until this week, KTRK reported.
"I had gone to be with my family in Dallas, and I just wanted to block out the world," she told the news station.
The woman spoke to Collins after leaving the home she shared with him on the phone and said the last text message he sent her read "give my mom a hug and be happy," according to KTRK.
In a statement about the incident, she said the thought that other families believed the person in the video could have been their missing loved one hurt her heart.
"I wish that I could hug each of them and somehow help them heal," she said.
She concluded the statement by asking people to embrace love more often.
"It would be easy to have resentment in our minds and hearts, but fear, hatred, and shame only create more fear, hatred and shame," she said. "Love is the only thing in this world to create light where there was none."
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