Woman seen ringing doorbells with restraints was escaping sexual assault

The mystery woman seen in the surveillance video ringing doorbells in Montgomery County was apparently escaping sexual assault.

The video which was posted last week has garnered international attention. 

On Wednesday, Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies said the woman's boyfriend, Dennis Ray Collins, 49, died by suicide at their house in the Sunrise Ranch Subdivision.

At a news conference, authorities said they believe the high-profile nature of this case may have played a part in his decision to kill himself. 

"In his notes, the details that were there show he's obviously extremely upset about what has occurred. He laid, at fault for what he'd done. He admitted he'd did what he did to her -- as seen in the video and I think that played a part in him committing suicide," said MCSO Lt. Scott Spencer. 

Spencer said Collins shot himself in the chest. 

Deputies were called to a residence on the 18400 block of Sunrise Pines in Montgomery around 11 a.m. Wednesday for a welfare check. Spencer said Collin's ex-wife had called the authorities after Collins had made suicidal threats. 

Collins was the boyfriend of the woman seen in the viral, surveillance video -- half naked with restraints hanging from her wrist. 

Her identity is not being released because authorities believe she was a victim of sexual assault. 

"The female described the restraints seen on the previously released video as restraints commonly used in private intimate encounters," Spencer said. 

Investigators said the woman was being sexually assaulted by Collins, and was in distress, looking for help when she rang two neighbor's doorbells last Friday around 3:20 a.m. 

"Mr. Collins used the restraints on her and then after that she was able to break free," Spencer said. 

When no one answered, investigators said she returned to the home she had been sharing with Collins for the last four months. The following day, authorities said the woman escaped safely to her family in Dallas, where she's been staying ever since. 

Jennie Drude said she saw the video on her neighborhood's Facebook group and was the first to share it publicly online. 

"When I originally shared it on my Facebook page, I was really just wanting the people of Montgomery, our very small quiet town, to know. I was just thinking that somebody will recognize this girl and it would be solved within a day or so," Drude said. 

A week later and the video's been viewed around the world, millions of times.

"As soon as I saw it, my heart just went out to this girl. She was obviously in trouble. She had what looked like restraints on her arms. And I just thought you know, somebody's missing her -- her family, her parents, and from a mom -- that's what my first thought was," said Drude. 

Records show that Dennis Ray Collins has a history of sexual violence. Houston Police arrested Collins in May of 2000 for attempt to commit sexual assault -- a second degree felony. 

Authorities said Collins and the woman were known as boyfriend and girlfriend, but it's unclear if there was a history of sexual assault in their relationship. 

Spencer said if Collins did not die, the case would have been investigated criminally for kidnapping, unlawful restraint and sexual assault. 

This case remains under investigation. 

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.