Flood Warning issued April 23 at 11:02AM EDT expiring April 24 at 2:00PM EDT in effect for: Daviess, Greene, Knox
A Howard County woman who was kidnapped and repeatedly raped more than a decade ago is sharing her haunting story in a new book.Anita Woolridge, who spoke Wednesday night at a Mental Health Association fundraiser, is working to help other victims become survivors, 6News' Jennifer Carmack reported.In June 1998, Woolridge was abducted from her home in the middle of the day by Victor Steele, 42, a convicted sex offender, who came to the house and asked for a glass of water."He stun gunned me twice in the back and once in the stomach, then held a shotgun to my head," Woolridge said.Steele forced Woolridge into her car trunk and eventually drove to a home in La Crosse, Wisc., where he kept her inside a metal box, taking her out to sexually assault her. She complied to stay alive.""That was pretty much his pattern every day," she said. "He reminded me (he was going to kill me) daily."After eight terrifying days, Woolridge was rescued."When they opened the box and I saw five police officers standing over me, I said, 'Thank God. Take me home,'" Woolridge said.Howard County Chief Deputy Sheriff Steven Rogers, who worked the case, said Woolridge's survival chances were slim to none."She did the right things at the right time to stay alive. I think that is really a big part of this," Rogers said.Woolridge believes unwavering faith and a strong will to survive got her through those eight horrific days and led to her putting it all down in writing.Therapist Angela Roegner has worked with Woolridge for eight years and helped her write the book "Eight Days In Darkness" to help others suffering from traumatic situations."She felt like that was why she was rescued was to tell her story," Roegner said. "I think women should learn that there is hope. She survived this and was able to heal, and they can, too."Steele is serving a life sentence without the chance of parole. Woolridge is now a court-appointed advocate and is currently working on a nursing degree. More: "Eight Days In Darkness"