Woman escapes after boyfriend holds her captive - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Woman escapes after boyfriend holds her captive

Collier County, FL -

(NBC) - A Florida woman is free for the first time in months after being held prisoner in her own home.

Tara Lopez says she's lucky to be alive. She's covered in bruises and says behind every patch of purple skin on her body, there is a story about a boyfriend who abused her constantly.

"He would kick me, punch me and hit me," she said. "I would scream, 'Help me! Help me!'"

Lopez said when the neighbors started to catch on to the abuse 36-year-old Jose Luis Chairez locked her up in the room.

"I wasn't allowed to leave the house or even sit outside," she said.

She spent three months in the makeshift prison. She has scars from punching out each window, but she says Chairez just boarded them up.

Sunday was the first time she'd been outside in months. She said boyfriend went to the grocery store and didn't lock the bedroom door.

Lopez says she went outside, but couldn't bring herself to flee.

"I was too scared because he said if I leave him, he'd kill me," she said.

When Chairez came home, he started kicking her in the street. That's when neighbors called 911 and he was taken away in cuffs.

"I was relieved," she said.

Chairez is being held in the Collier County Jail with a $107,000 bond. Lopez says she hopes that's enough to keep him behind bars.

She is now moving into a women's shelter and says she hopes her story will encourage other woman to look for help.

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