HOUSTON – Officials said they have identified the barefoot woman captured by surveillance cameras ringing doorbells at a number of Texas homes before vanishing into the night.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Spencer said during a press conference Wednesday that the woman is safe. He said they learned of her identity after finding a 49-year-old man – who had made suicidal threats and comments – dead during a welfare check.
“The preliminary cause of death at this time is a single gunshot wound believed (to be) self-inflicted,” Lt. Spencer said. “The decedent’s girlfriend, a 32-year-old white female, who was not on scene when deputies arrived, is confirmed to be the female in the doorbell video that has been circulating around on the internet.”
Lt. Spencer said they are not identifying the woman because she is a family violence victim, adding only that she is now with family.
When asked about the nature of the family violence, Lt. Spencer said, “There’s some issues, obviously, with the surveillance video and why she’s wearing those restraints and the circumstances surrounding it. We only have one side of the story right now.”
Lt. Spencer said the victim left a suicide note that helped identify the girlfriend and helped explain “some of the circumstances behind why this occurred,” adding that the woman was living with the 49-year-old at the Sunrise Ranch home where the body was found.
The grainy video, captured around 3:20 a.m. on Friday, shows a woman walking up to a house and ringing the doorbell. She’s wearing a T-shirt, and appears to have some sort of shackle hanging from her right wrist.
“We were dead asleep in our beds. My husband was woken up by doorbell ring. It rang probably 20 to 30 times,” one resident, who did not want to be named, told CNN affiliate KPRC. “He walked outside, no one was in sight. It’s like she disappeared in thin air.”
KPRC reported that the same woman apparently visited at least five houses in the Sunrise Ranch neighborhood.
If you feel extreme distress, you can call 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, to speak with someone who will provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to learn how to help someone in crisis, you can call the same number.
CNN contributed to this article.