LEWISVILLE, Texas -- At first, she thought it was a prank, but a Lewisville woman says she feels she stumbled upon a cry for help on an evening walk.
On Tuesday night Lavinia Masters was tired.
"I was mentally and physically exhausted," she said.
So it is strange and out of character that she suddenly got a burst of energy and suddenly felt called to get up.
"In my mind, something was like go walking, and I’m like 'I haven't walked on that trail for months," she said.
But she now feels that desire for a neighborhood stroll was no coincidence, because of what happened when she came across a couple. She says the man was walking ahead of a woman, who was hunched down on the ground by a bench, moving her arms.
"It just didn’t look right how she was, like, she was in a hurry," said Masters.
Eventually the woman got up and started walking. So did Masters, then they locked eyes.
"It was chilling," Masters said. "It was almost like she was trying to say 'Help me.'"
When Masters reached the bench, she says her gut proved right. Scrawled into the ground was 'HELP ME' written by a rock, or a cigarette butt…no one’s sure. This rattled Masters deeply. She is an advocate for victims of domestic violence, but didn’t expect to possibly find one on her walk.
"The scariest part is if something happens to her," said Masters. "And I was here, and I couldn’t save her."
Masters says she did what she felt was safest for both of them. She called Lewisville Police, but the couple was gone when officers arrived. We are intentionally not sharing the specific location of the incident so as to protect any possible parties involved.
Masters is sharing the story as a reminder for all of us to be aware.
"That’s what I think this should be about, about raising awareness, about keeping our eyes and ears open," she said.
Because you never know when you could be called on to help.
"That’s my prayer," said Masters. "That she will get the help she needs."