ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis woman is thankful she’s alive after a trip out of town turned into a nightmare.

“I cannot believe it happened. I’m still depressed and trying to dig out of this hole,” said Dana Holt. 

Holt’s family filed a missing person’s report in March after Holt went to Dallas to visit her new boyfriend, Charles Hall. He is also from St. Louis and someone Holt has known for years.

She said everything was fine until Hall got abusive.

“I’ve never seen so much hate, so much anger in a person. I had scratches all over my neck. I had a black eye,” Holt tells FOX 2. 

Holt says Hall beat her multiple times for contacting family and eventually took her phone. She said he would not let her leave their hotel room in Grand Prairie, Texas.

“I felt like if I did reach out to my family or have somebody pull up, I would not be here today,” Holt said.

Holt’s sister, Audrey Clay, went down to Dallas herself to search for Dana after she didn’t hear from Dana for days. Clay believed her sister was in trouble.

“We didn’t know whether it was kidnapping, sex trafficking. We had no clue at that point,” Clay said.

Holt said once Hall knew police were searching for her, Hall attempted to strangle her and pulled his gun on her.

“He probably freaked out and snapped. Like, he snapped. That was straight evil,” Holt said. “He had a gun to my face and he said, ‘If you pepper-spray me, I’m going to shoot you.'”

Holt said she was able to break free and call 911.  Police arrested Hall at the hotel. Clay said she is thankful to have her sister home, knowing that easily could have not been the outcome.

“I think no matter how well you know somebody, you should never let your guard down fully. Anything could happen,” Clay said.

Hall is currently still in jail in Tarrant County, Texas. Police said he’s facing charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of narcotics.