Denis Amber Lee (21) was kidnapped while doing what she loved best, spending time with her two beautiful children, Noah, 2, and Adam, 6 months, while at her home in North Port. It had been a regular day with her husband, Nathan Lee, was at work at his job as a city meter reader at Florida Power and Light. It’s Nathan that alerted police when he returned home to find his wife missing.
Nathan’s last contact with Denis was around 11am. Finding his two children sleeping in their cribs, he immediately began searching the house. Denis was nowhere to be found, but left behind was her purse and cell phone.
It would later be revealed that the abductor was Michael King (36), an unemployed plumber his a long history of odd behaviour. King owned a 1995 green Chevy Camaro, and a neighbor reported to police that his car was in the Lee’s driveway around 2:30pm. The neighbor had alerted 911 about the suspicious car, and another witness also called in to report seeing Denise struggling in the car.
Unfortunately, the 911 operator never passed the information to dispatchers, which ultimately could have saved the life of the stay at home, mother.
At 6:14 pm an unknown woman, later turned out to be Denis, was heard on a 911 call sobbing and saying, “I’m sorry, I just want to see my family, please let me go.” Denis was in the car of the Camaro and the song Too Little, Too Late by JoJo could be heard in the background.
That call was quickly disconnected, however, police could trace the location of the call.
Shortly after the call with Denis was heard, 17-year-old Sabrina Muxlow called 911. Muxlow claimed that Michael King had stopped by her father’s home around 6:pm and that her father had seen Denis tied up in the car. King was a cousin of the Muxlows.
A transcript from this call reads, “He came over to my dad’s house, borrowed a shovel, a gas tank and something else.”
Muxlow’s father told police that King had come over requesting the items to fix his lawnmower.
Police arrived at King’s location and found that Denise had been bounded up in what he referred to as his “Rape Room”. A single piece of duct tape discovered still contained traces of Denis’s hair strands.
Michael King’s history of odd behaviour is quite disgusting. One woman accused him of following her daughter to a bus stop while another claims that Michael King raped her after she passed out while drinking alcohol. Another report came from a woman breastfeeding her baby inside her car, claiming that King had exposed his penis to her.
It took two days before police discovered Lee’s remains in a shallow grave. She had been raped and then shot in the head.
Michael King was found guilty of the rape and murder of Denis Amber Lee and sentenced to death for first degree murder and sexual battery.
Many familiar with this case blame the 911 operator for Lee’s death, which is understandable. Since this horrific crime, family has helped pass the Denis Amber Lee Act in April 2008, which refocuses on the training received by current and future emergency call operators.
Tampa Bay Time, Sunday, April 13, 2008
If you like this story, you may also like The Murdaugh Family Murders Are Getting Ridiculous