CHICAGO (CBS) — Nine years later, a Wisconsin woman is recalling the trauma she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband who left her to die in a Wheeling storage locker.
“He just wanted me dead,” said Teri Jendusa-Nicolai.
It was on this date in 2004 when Jendusa-Nicolai was gagged, blindfolded and kidnapped by her ex-husband, who beat her repeatedly with a baseball bat and then stuffed her into a garbage can.
She didn’t know where he was taking her.
“I had no pants, no socks, no shoes and he was filling up the can with snow,” she said. “That morning it was like 17 degrees.”
She remained in that unheated storage locker for 21 hours.
“I was there all day, all evening, all through the night. I know I was blacking out a lot. I was praying, I was crying, I was screaming, I was trying to get out. I was really worried about my two young girls.”
She says she was an hour away from death when she was rescued.
Pregnant at the time, she lost the baby, and her frostbitten toes were amputated.
She’s now happily remarried and in addition to her daughters from her first marriage, has a five-year-old son.
Despite the trauma of what happened to her, she now speaks publicly about it to young women to warn them of the danger signs in a potentially abusive relationship.
In August 2005, her ex-husband, David Larsen was found guilty in Racine County (Wis.) Circuit Court of first degree intentional homicide and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. In 2008, he was convicted in federal court for kidnapping and interstate domestic violence and sentenced to life in prison.