These days, smart home technology is either lauded for assisting in package-theft retrievals or regarded as creepy for always listening in on your every move. But in Texas and Canada, doorbell security cameras are being used to find women who appear to be in danger, and, in one case, is already assisting the capture of the woman’s abductor.
According to ABC News, the Montgomery County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office is searching for a woman who was recorded ringing a stranger’s doorbell around 3:20a.m. on Friday. She reportedly went to multiple neighbor’s doors that night.
Ring doorbell camera footage taken from the residence shows the woman rounding the house’s doorstep, walking up to the camera, and ringing the bell. The woman appears to only be wearing a T-shirt, no shoes, and has restraints wrapped around her wrists.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is investigating the suspicious incident that occurred in Montgomery, Texas. Please share this post so it can be monitored by law enforcement. If you have any information regarding this or if you know the woman or if yoy are the woman in the pictures please contact us.Lieutenant Scott SpencerMontgomery County Sheriff's OfficePosted by Montgomery County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, August 26, 2018
The sheriff’s office has reportedly canvassed the area and interviewed residents. While many people have responded to the footage with missing person theories, the office says that that so far, the woman does not match any of the people suggested.
Given her physical state and the restraints on her wrists, many have speculated that she may be a victim of human trafficking who was attempting to get the attention of someone in the neighborhood. Others have likened her to a potential robber, attempting to get someone to open their door in the dead of night. The sheriff’s office, however, has commented twice for people to stop speculating on the status of the woman in the video, which it shared on its Facebook page.
It appears that smart home technology may have also helped authorities in a case out of Toronto, Canada, where a 28-year-old woman rung a doorbell camera around 2:55 a.m. on Thursday. The woman stood at the door until a man emerged from a car parked outside the house, approached her, grabbed her by the hair, and dragged her to the car. She said she thought she was going to die, to which the man said, “Good.”
“She was scared. So she was dragged by the gentleman out to the car which was situated right in front of the house,” the homeowner, John Vuong, told KOCO 5. “I kept playing it over and over and over again because I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
Police say the woman has been found safe. The car of her abductor, identified as 27-year-old Jonathan McLennan, has been seized, but McLennan himself still hasn’t been caught. He faces multiple charges, including kidnapping with a firearm, forcible confinement, and carrying a concealed weapon.
As for the woman in the first video, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to contact them at 936-760-5800.
Update 6:27pm CT, Aug. 29: The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday that the woman who was recorded wearing restraints and ringing doorbells “has been identified and is safe.”
A Facebook post described how Montgomery County officers received a call Wednesday for a welfare check in the area because a man had “made suicidal comments.” Officers at the scene discovered a 39-year-old man was dead inside the home and reported that his preliminary cause of death was believed to be a gunshot wound.
Police identified the woman from the doorbell video as the man’s 32-year-old “girlfriend.” According the post, her name will not be made public due to her “status as a family violence victim.” But officials said she is “safe and with family” and that an investigation is underway.