Denise Amber Lee and her kidnapper, a man named Michael King, who was unknown to her and her family, were spotted several times that day as the Camaro traveled around North Port. Per Casetext, she was taken to King’s home and then to the home of his cousin, where the kidnapper borrowed a gas can, a shovel, and a flashlight. Lee, who was tied up and who fought with King in full sight of his cousin, reportedly called out for the cousin to call the cops. However, King was able to convince him that everything was above board.
It was only later that the cousin’s daughter, who had heard from her father of the bizarre sight of a family member traveling with a tied-up woman, called the police to share her concerns. The police received several other calls that day, including one from another witness who reported seeing what she believed to be a child banging on the window of the Camaro and screaming to be let out. She attempted to follow the car while on the line with the police operator but lost the car in traffic. Shockingly, another call came from inside the car, with Denise getting King’s cell phone away from him and dialing 911 without him knowing. She kept up the pretense of having a conversation with him while in fact relaying key information to the police. Tragically, the calls were in vain, as the police were unable to locate Denise before it was too late.