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My mom was brutally injured and almost died last week from wounds consistent with a fourth degree sexual assault. One agonizing week later, police are still investigating the case but so far no answers and no suspect.
Last Sunday, I wrote to you on the NEA Report Facebook page that I would be taking care of my family during an unimaginable tragedy. At about 1:30 PM Sunday, September 16, my mom was found with severe injuries in her home off of Patrick Street in north Jonesboro. She had lost a great deal of blood, had black eyes, three broken teeth, a broken jaw in three places, a huge gash in her head, and bruising on the back and front of her hands and arms. She was almost dead.
From Sunday to Wednesday, I could not look at my mom without crying. She stopped breathing once. Her face was destroyed. Her lip was hanging loose and her jaw was dangling. It has since been wired shut. Despite this living hell, NEA Baptist hospital has given her a second chance at life.
On Thursday, she woke up and was beginning to communicate. Friday, she was spelling words. Saturday and Sunday, she was writing and even laughing. Seeing her laugh through her broken smile is joyful and crushing at the same time. She made what one ICU nurse described as a “miracle” recovery. Yet, I’m broken by what she has had to endure and especially by the thought of someone doing this to her. We don’t have definitive answers. She suffered so many major blows to the brain, she has suffered short-term memory loss as a result and still can’t remember what or who did this.
The Jonesboro Police Department has been intensely investigating this case. Detective Josh Wiiest is the lead detective and has been so comforting to my family during what has been the scariest and saddest time of our lives. He has also been aggressively pursuing leads, gathering evidence, and looking for answers. Chief Rick Elliott has been incredible, too. We speak almost daily and he has been very reassuring. Police have interviewed several witnesses and gathered a great deal of evidence from both the scene and the hospital – but we’ve learned of another major challenge against us: there is only one crime lab in the entire State of Arkansas. Detectives tell us this means critical forensic evidence such as blood gathered from under her fingernails and DNA obtained in a rape kit takes as much as EIGHT MONTHS to process.
We need your help.
If you have ANY information which could be relevant, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you heard someone talk about anything unusual or you saw scratch marks or wounds on someone’s hands, we need to know. Your identity will be protected and tips can remain confidential unless you choose to share your identity with authorities. Anyone is urged to contact The Jonesboro Police Department at (870) 935-6710 and ask for Detective Wiiest.
There are many I will be thanking in the coming days and I must thank you all for being so kind as this has transpired. I will be slowly resuming news writing this week while continuing to help my family. Until then, please think of my mom and please understand that our news content may not return to fully-normal for a few more weeks.
Thank you NEA