Woman Lives To Tell Of Attack By Derrick Todd Lee - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Woman Lives To Tell Of Attack By Derrick Todd Lee

In 1992, 42-year-old Connie Warner was attacked inside her Zachary home. Her body was later found near a chemical plant. Derrick Todd Lee was suspect in Warner's murder, but never connected to the crime.

Then in 1993, a teenage couple was attacked in a graveyard just behind Warner's neighborhood. The victims thought they were alone but to their surprise Derrick Lee was watching them. One of the victims, Michelle Chapman, says she looked her attacker right in the eye.

"The one thing I remember were his eyes because they were big and blood shot and full of rage," said Chapman. "I tried to turn the keys, but he took the keys with him."

Chapman says everything that has been said about Lee from his clean appearance fit perfectly with what she saw the night she was attacked. "He was very well dressed. I remember he had on a red plaid shirt and it was tucked inside his pants and he was clean shaven," said Chapman.

Michelle says when a Zachary police officer came to their rescue, Lee ran away, dropping his machete in a ditch. But even with his weapon, detectives still couldn't get Lee because it was raining that night an all of the physical evidence had been wiped off.

Michelle thought for sure when she picked him out of the photo lineup something would be done. However, the statute of limitations on second attempted degree murder had ran out. Michelle says her right foot was almost completely severed. Today she says the scars are a constant reminder of the attack.

In 1997, Lee was again spotted in the same Zachary neighborhood. Lieutenant David McDavid with the Zachary Police Department says, "We received several calls about a peeping Tom in this area before the Mebreuer murder. It turned out to be Derrick Todd Lee. We chased him all up and down Highway-964, set up an area and chased him through the grave yard."

Lt. McDavid says earlier this year, when he learned that the serial killer could possibly be black, he again turned to the evidence on Derrick Lee. A court order was obtained and detectives went to Lee's home in St. Francisville, where Lee told them to leave.

Lt. McDavid says they aren't certain what charges they will file against Lee once he is arrested. But Lt. McDavid was there when Lee was swabbed and says his usual charming personality quickly changed to agitated.

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