A Delaware woman is speaking out after being attacked inside a Dominican Republic resort and left for dead.
“How do you explain to your kids you were almost killed by some random stranger and that ‘Mommy is coming home, but I don’t look like myself’? How do you look into your parents eyes as they gaze upon your battered face telling them, ‘I’m okay, I’ll be okay’. Seeing friends break down in tears as they look at you,” she wrote.
Lawrence-Daley, 51, explained how what was meant to be a fun vacation in Punta Cana with her husband and their two best friends quickly turned into a nightmare.
After a night of beach activities and dancing, she called the reception from her hotel room in hopes of getting some food. Since no one answered, she went downstairs to look for the snack bar. The hallways were empty and quiet, and as she was walking back to her suite, she heard heavy footsteps: “One, two, three, four, then they sped up, and then before I could react I was plowed into from behind and immediately immobilized. His arms wrapped around me and he started pulling me immediately into an unlocked maintenance room.”
The attacker — who was wearing a hotel uniform — strangled her multiple times, kicked her in the head, dragged her down concrete stairs, and beat her with a club. Once he believed her dead, he threw her in an underground waste water area.
“I’m not going to go into the gory details of everything, however, please know that I fought with everything I had at that moment. He was too strong,” she recalled.
Due to the severity of the beating, Lawrence-Daley went in and out of consciousness several times. She doesn’t know if she was sexually assaulted, but she assumes the worst. After eight hours of “pain and fear,” she woke up in the dirty puddle of water to the voices of her loved ones looking for her.
When her husband and friends finally found her, they rushed her to the emergency room, where she stayed for five days and underwent surgery for her injuries.
Despite the fact that police found evidence of the man’s blood-stained hands on a mop handle in the resort basement, and his uniform hat, they did not investigate or press any charges, and the resort did not take any responsibility.
“This man thought he killed me, but he failed. He is still out there, a predator, waiting for his next victim. Only the next woman may not be so fortunate,” wrote Lawrence-Daley. “These attacks are happening too frequently and the criminals are NOT being prosecuted even though evidence is found. Victims are not being compensated for medical or pain and suffering, and the resorts are not held liable.”
Majestic Elegance, the resort she was staying in, didn't offer to reimburse her vacation or pay her medical bills. Instead, they buried the story.
Speaking to PEOPLE, Lawrence-Daley said she is in part sharing her experience to let other women “understand they can’t walk around by themselves.”
“I hate to say that, but it’s the truth. What I went through, I would never wish on anyone,” she added.