January 17, 2008
Denise Amber Lee is kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Michael King
Lee (21) was home with her 2 young children when King abducted around 2:00 PM. She was driven around while bound, with several people witnessing the journey; a total of 5 calls to 9-1-1 regarding Lee’s abduction were made including one from Lee herself and one from her husband upon arriving home to discover his wife missing and their children safe in the same crib, approximately 3:30 PM.
Lee was taken to King’s house, restrained with duct tape, and raped repeatedly. She was then taken to King’s cousin’s house where King retrieved a shovel, flashlight, and gas can. Lee was able to take King’s cellphone without him noticing and call 9-1-1 at 6:14 PM. She was able to give the operator some information which led to the arrest and conviction of King by answering the operator’s questions while pretending to talk to King, but was unable to give a detailed description of her location. Additionally, the operator was unable to trace the call as King’s cellphone was prepaid phone.
Another call was around 6:30 PM from a witness believing the terrified screams she heard from a nearby car were from an abducted child.
King drove Lee to an undeveloped area, shot her in the head at point-blank range, and buried her in a shallow grave. At 9:25 PM he was arrested. Lee’s body was found on January 19.
King was found guilty and sentenced to death with a 12-0 vote. Due to the lack of communication between emergency operators and responders during Lee’s abduction, additional training is offered voluntarily for 9-1-1 operators under the Denise Amber Lee Act which was passed unanimously by the Florida Legislature.
The full transcript between Denise and the 9-1-1 operator can be read here.