Woman’s life saved by Wordle after being held hostage for 17 hours

An 80-year-old Chicago woman, who was held hostage by a man and thought that she would not survive the abduction attempt, was rescued after she did not solve the daily word game Wordle.

Denyse Holt, who lives in Morse Avenue in Lincolnwood, was sleeping on 5 February, when a naked man, armed with a pair of scissors, broke into the house through a window, reported CBS.

“I was shocked,” Ms Holt said, adding that she was held captive in her own house. “[He] just threatened me.”

The 32-year-old man, who has been identified as James H Davis III, got into bed with her as she tried to remain calm and followed his instructions. “I was trying to survive that’s all,” Ms Holt said. “He said ‘I won’t harm you or molest you’.”

The man, who got a cut while breaking into the house, then asked her to get into the shower with him as he was not warm. He then dragged the woman – still in her soaking wet nightgown – around the house as he disconnected phone lines. She said that Mr Davis was leaving behind a trail of dripping blood as he was injured from broken glass.

“He took two knives from my kitchen. He told me he liked those,” Ms Holt said, adding that she feared for her life and “didn’t think I was going to live”.

He locked her up in the basement bathroom, where she did stretches and exercises to stay warm.

Her family members, who lived across the country in Seattle, were alarmed as she did not share the daily Wordle as she used to daily, or respond to other messages.

“I didn’t send my older daughter a Wordle in the morning. And that was disconcerting to her,” Ms Holt said.

Her oldest daughter Meredith Holt-Caldwell, who lives in Seattle, said that she noticed that her mother was reading the messages but not responding. She then alerted the police about her mother’s unusual behaviour and the officers who responded to the well-being check found an intruder.

The police had to use a stun gun through a hole in the door to subdue him. Ms Holt was freed after 17 hours of captivity.

Mr Davis is believed to have mental issues, police said, and was taken into custody. He is facing charges of felony, home invasion with a weapon, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault against a peace officer.