A missing woman has been rescued from a makeshift prison in Marshall County. And her alleged attacker is behind bars.
The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office says they received a report on Tuesday that a 65-year-old female from Georgia had not contacted her family since July 22. The family members filing the report said she had a male companion in Albertville whom she has known for about two years. That man was identified as 33-year-old Lance David McClendon.
Deputies went to McClendon’s house in the Mt. Olive community. They said they could not get anyone to come to the door but noticed a vehicle parked in a wooded area behind the home. That vehicle was identified as belonging to the missing woman. Investigators say the neighbors had not seen the woman in a few days.
They said they learned that McClendon had been sending random text messages to the woman’s family about the two of them being in the Gadsden area.
The sheriff’s office maintained surveillance of the house overnight, but no activity was observed.
On Wednesday morning, the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit executed a search warrant.
“Inside the home, they found McClendon and the woman and what they saw was shocking. The woman had been violently beaten, likely several days prior to the discovery. An ambulance was called to the scene and she was transported to a North Alabama hospital,” Sheriff Scot Walls said in a news release.
Deputies said that all of the interior doors of the home were shut with screws placed through the doors into the door frames, and all of the windows were covered with heavy black plastic. They said McClendon and the victim were “absolutely limited to just the room they were found in.”
“The woman was not able to get away and had no way to call for help as her attacker had taken her phone from her,” said Walls.
Deputies said the woman was violently beaten during the overnight hours on July 21.
“She was locked in the living room of the home and wasn’t given access to her prescribed medications, fresh water, or a toilet. As a result of the attack, she suffered with severe facial bruising, a cut on the back of her head, and a collapsed lung for several days until being rescued by deputies,” said Walls.
She is still hospitalized but in stable condition.
McClendon is charged with second-degree domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment and unlawful use of a debit card. He is also charged with being a fugitive from justice due to felony warrants in the state of Mississippi. He remains in the county jail with a $250,000 bond.
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