Missing Wordle update helps save 80-year-old woman held hostage by intruder

Credit: CBS/Wordle

Popular online puzzle Wordle has been credited with helping to save the life of an 80-year-old hostage.

A naked intruder broke into Denyse Holt's house, in Illinois, during the middle of the night. Although the stranger got into Ms Holt's bed, she said she remained calm. "I was trying to survive that's all. He said I won't harm you or molest you," she told CBS News.

Afterwards, the intruder ordered Ms Holt to take a shower with him, Ms Holt said.

"Then he said: 'No, I'm not warm enough. We have to take a bath'," she added.

The pair took a bath, then the man marched Ms Holt around the house, disconnecting phones as he went. The intruder also left behind trails of blood - he had been cut by the broken window through which he entered Ms Holt's home.

Denyse Holt recalls the night she was held hostage

He proceeded to lead Ms Hoyle to her basement bathroom, then used a chair to barricade her in.

For 17 hours she was kept in darkness, doing exercises to keep herself busy.

Ms Hoyle admits: "I didn't think I was going to live." However, her daughter, Meredith Holt-Caldwell noticed that Ms Holt hadn't been reading her texts. Ms Holt-Caldwell was also "disconcerted" that her mother had not been sending her usual Wordle updates.

Police engaged in a standoff outside Ms Holt's house Credit: CBS

Wordle provides a daily puzzle comprising a five-letter word that players have six chances to guess. Users can share their performance with others.

"I didn't send my older daughter a Wordle in the morning. And that was disconcerting to her," Ms Holt said.

Her daughter rang the police, who subsequently engaged in an hours-long standoff with the intruder. Eventually they fired a stun gun through a hole in the door to subdue the stranger. The man, who police believe has mental health issues, is now in custody.