An 80-year-old Chicago woman says the online game Wordle was key to her escaping a 17-hour ordeal in which a man broke into her house, forced her to bathe with him and then locked her in the basement.
Denyse Holt, who spoke to CBS-2 Chicago about the harrowing experience, said her daughter in Seattle notified police and requested a welfare check after she did not see her mother’s Wordle submission that morning.
Despite her family’s concern, Holt remained positive and said: “I didn’t think I was going to live.”
Police eventually deemed the situation was critical after an hours-long standoff and broke through a door to gain entry into Holt’s house, in the Lincolnwood area of Chicago.
Trapped in the dark bathroom of her basement with the door barricaded by a chair, she had been doing exercises to stay warm, Holt said.
“I was doing marching and stretching as much as I could,” she said.
Thankfully, her daughter, Meredith Holt-Caldwell, noticed something was off after seeing her mother was not viewing her texts or updating Wordle.
“I didn’t send my older daughter a Wordle in the morning. And that was disconcerting to her,” Holt said.
Police arrested James H. Davis III, 32, who now faces felony charges of home invasion with a dangerous weapon, aggravated kidnapping while armed with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault against a peace officer, according to CBS-2 Chicago.
“I’m very lucky,” Holt said.