Mystery Doorbell Ringer Comes Forward, Shares Chilling Survival Story

This woman's terrifying story gripped the nation before anyone knew her name or heard her reveal what had happened to her.

America first saw her as a nameless woman who, while wearing restraints and a large tee shirt, rang a neighbor's doorbell late at night.

Her name is Lauren, and her story is every bit as chilling as people feared.

Lauren is 32 years old. She says that one night, she awoke to her 49-year-old boyfriend, Dennis Ray Collins, kneeling on her chest.

He was stuffing some sort of fabric into her mouth.

Her feet and ankles were bound by restraints, and she had duct tape on her head.

She reveals that, at the time, she fully believed that she was going to die.

She says that she tried to cling to hope during the sexual assault that followed.

Lauren says: "I just kept repeating in my head ‘God has more for me than this, I’m not gonna die here tonight,'"

She had been living with Collins for 4 months at the time of the rape.

She says that afterwards, he allowed her to go to the kitchen to get some water — because her throat hurt from screaming.

This, she reveals, is when she saw her chance to escape — and took it.

We can never imagine how much bravery it took her to make that dash for the door and leave.

As natural as the instinct to flee is, there is also a powerful instinct in many people to cooperate with a threat in the hopes of survival. Neither instinct is always right, but Lauren made the right choice.

She says that she flagged down a car, asking the driver to help her — but that the driver took one look at her and sped away.

It was then that Lauren was famously recorded ringing a doorbell. She rang several doorbells.

Lauren explains that she was in fear for her life, but convinced that if someone saw her and made eye contact with her, that she woudl be safe.

In the end, Lauren was able to go back for her car to drive away. It was 3 in the morning, and her chances of getting someone to answer the door were slim.

Again, we cannot imagine how much courage it took for her to return to the one place where she knew that Collins might be.

Lauren drove to safety while the homeowner's whose doorbell caught Lauren on video contacted law enforcement, fearing for this mystery woman's life.

It was five days after the video surfaced that Collins committed suicide.

In his suicide note, he apologized to Lauren — which, obviously, doesn't mean much, considering what he had done to her — and swears that he had not planned to kill her.

"I never would have killed you like you thought," Collins claimed. "I’m sorry for what I’ve done and I wish I could turn back time."

He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lauren is grappling with powerful emotions in the aftermath of this trauma. She even feels a misplaced sense of guilt over Collins' death.

But, speaking to Inside Edition, she admits that she believe that he would have taken her life.

"I worry if this video didn’t come out," Lauren admits. "And if he were not gone — then I eventually would be."

Mystery doorbell ringer steps forward shares chilling survival s

Little People, Big World Stars Look Forward to 2018

It’s early, but this may already be the understatement of the year:

The Roloffs enjoyed quite a 2017.

We say this for two very cute reasons.

One is named Jackson Kyle Roloff.

The other is named Ember Jean Roloff.

Jackson was born to Tori and Zach in May, while Ember followed a few months later, entering the world of parents Audrey and Jeremy in September.

These bundles of joy made 2017 a year to remember for all Little People, Big World stars, as they reflected on the past 12 months and looked ahead to what’s to come in a series of Instagram posts over the weekend.

Wrote Tori, for example:

“2017 has had our lowest lows and our highest highs. I can honestly say it’s been the best year of my life. Thanks for sharing it with me!”

She then addressed her husband again, sharing the photo below along with this affiliated message:

“2018 is going to be pretty rad, as long as I have you by my side.”

Amy, meanwhile, spent the holiday weekend with controversial boyfriend Chris Marek.

She sat comfortably in her lap while surrounded by other friends and wrote to her followers:

“From all of us to you Happy New Year! What a Year. Ups and downs but always full of hope! As we see 2017 end I hope you are bringing in 2018 with a lot of possibilities still.

“Much love to you.”

Happy New Year from Amy

Jeremy, for his part, pointed fans to his wife’s Instagram story and said that Ember was definitely the “highlight of our year.”

We’d have to imagine so.

Audrey, though, had A LOT more to say on the topic.

Along with the montage of family photo shared at the outset of this article, the relatively new mother of one opened up like always to her many supporters.

“My word for 2017 was FRUITFUL,” opened Audrey, prying to explaining thusly:

“The Lord pressed this word on my heart sometime in December of last year. We had just launched our marriage journal, the @beating50 community was multiplying, and we we’re part of a community that was growing and edifying us in ways that beared so much fruit

“The word seemed to be a fitting proclaimation of hopeful expectation over 2017.

“When I found out we were pregnant on January 7th, I realized the hidden significance as to why this word would mark our year. It was almost as if I was seeing God smirk at me when I looked down at those two pink lines. ‘Oh, that kind of fruitful…'”

She wasn’t done, however.

Referencing her faith and her family in more detail, Roloff concluded:

And it was a fruitful year. The Lord expanded our boundaries in ministry, business, community, and family.

We continued to pour into our Beating50percent and ALWAYS MORE ministries, filmed two more seasons of LPBW, moved back to Portland and bought our first home, whethered two remodels (one unintended), made it though another successful pumpkin season, and had our first baby.

The year flew by in a furry and many moments were blurred but the pressure of time and the looming tyrany of the urgent.

Which leads me to our word for 2018, nominated by Jeremy this year – RHYTHM.

We are looking forward to establishing new healthy rhythms and learning the “unforced rhythms of grace” in 2018.

TLC is yet to announce a return date for Little People, Big World.

Look for new episodes this spring, however.