Residents of the quiet town of Excelsior Springs are on edge Tuesday after a woman was brutally attacked inside her home Monday.
The 43-year-old woman was rushed to an area hospital, where she underwent surgery for her injuries.
The Excelsior Springs School District has taken extra measures at the middle school as a result of the attack. Authorities said "no comment" when asked whether the person of interest is an eighth-grader.
Neighbors say police spent hours on Monday searching the home of a middle school boy who attends school with the victim's daughter. They said the search occurred after they saw police dogs follow a trail to the residence.
Police did say they searched the home of a person of interest after getting a search warrant. As of Tuesday night, no arrests have been made.
A passing motorist helped save the woman's life after he heard her screams and wound up confronting her attacker.
"I am glad she is alive and she will probably be OK," the man said.
He said the woman suffered numerous injuries to her arms, legs, chest area, neck and face. She appeared to have been repeatedly cut, perhaps by a bottle.
The woman is cooperating with investigators, Excelsior Springs police said. Kansas City police assisted in processing the crime scene.
The woman said she did not get a good look at her attacker and is uncertain as to whether he is a stranger or someone she knows.
Tony asked not to have his identity revealed because he saw the attacker who has not been arrested.
The woman was attacked at a home in the area of Maple and Myrtle streets. Her screams alerted passing motorists.
"I was passing this house and I saw a lady half body out of the door and screaming for help," Tony recalled. "Somebody started tried to pull her in. I started screaming to leave her alone."
When he barged into the home, the attacker threatened his life.
"He basically looked at me and said, 'You come closer and I will kill you too.'"
Tony ran and got help. While he was scrambling out the home, the woman screamed for help and the attacker ran out the back door.
Neighbor Robert Brown and his wife helped treat the woman's injuries, especially helping stanch the flow of the blood from her neck.
The woman's two children were at school when the attack occurred Monday morning.
"I get emotional over it still because she's a good neighbor and I'd hate to see her kids without her," Brown said.
Tony said the woman fought her attacker valiantly.
"She was fighting with him and somehow managed to get to the front door and open it," he said. "She basically saved her own life. If she hadn't gotten the door opened, no one would have known what happened."
The woman told police that her attacker was wearing a hoodie. Tony says he will never forget the sound of the man's voice and he hopes to help identify the attacker.
Excelsior Springs Superintendent John Lacy issued the following statement to KCTV5:
"The Excelsior Springs School District is in constant contact with the Excelsior Spring Police Department regarding the assault that occurred Monday morning. As far as the District knows, there have been no charges filed against anyone in the case. Until charges are filed, this is a law enforcement issue only. Our staff at the Middle School has been alerted and our continuing effort to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all students has been heightened as a result of this incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."
Police have not announced any arrests or released a suspect description. If you have any information, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
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