A woman has spoken out after being stabbed multiple times during a home burglary and surviving the attack despite losing three quarters of her blood.
Donna Ongsiako of Colts Neck, New Jersey, had gone to bed just after midnight on July 7, 2013, but as she began to fall asleep, she heard what she thought was her cat scratching at the door.
As she went downstairs to let her cat in, she clawed not at an excited friend but at a stranger on her porch who was trying to cut open her screen door with a knife.
Ongsiako tried to close the door, but the intruder stuck the knife through the opening and cut her finger.
He broke into Ongsiako’s home and began brutally stabbing her.
“I’ve lost almost three quarters of the blood in my body altogether,” Ongsiako said 48 hours. “There is no earthly reason why I live.”
Ongsiako collapsed to the ground and said the intruder asked for her car keys and a lighter at that moment.
The burglar took her keys and a lighter, which she said was on the kitchen table along with her entire purse.
After stabbing her in the chest one last time, he left.
Ongsiako lived in a rural area with no neighbors to hear her cries for help. Her adult daughter Kiersten, with whom she lived, was at a party during the attack.
Ongsiako climbed upstairs, got her cell phone, and called 911. Because she was badly injured, she said she was motivated by fear her daughter might find her lifeless body.
Ongsiako was taken to the hospital and operated on for over seven hours, but she survived.
Attackers on the run
Ongsiako also helped the police apprehend her attacker.
During the 911 call, she gave a detailed description of the intruder before briefly losing consciousness – a man who appeared about 17 with long, blond, curly hair and a backpack.
Shortly after Ongsiako gave police a description, they received a tip from a Taco Bell five miles from her home.
Employees reported seeing a young, blond-haired man with a backpack walking down their thoroughfare, banging on windows, knife in hand.
Police were able to locate Ongsiako’s car, which had been left behind a movie theater in the same mall as the fast food outlet.
The stolen car’s light was on and still running when the police made the find.
Blood was found all over the car, which investigators said would be crucial to the investigation.
SKETCH OF SUSPECT
Within two days of the attack, police, with the help of a Taco Bell customer, had a sketch of the suspect made.
The sketch helped police get a lead just eight days after the attack.
According to the tipster, 16-year-old Brennan Doyle matched the suspect’s sketch.
The tipster said Doyle recently cut his long skater-style hair much shorter.
In late July, investigators visited the home where Doyle and his family lived, who lived just down the road from Ongsiako.
Monmouth County detective Andrea Tozzi said she wanted to see if Doyle got a haircut.
After an arrest warrant was obtained to take a DNA sample from Doyle in September 2013, the results showed that Doyle matched the unknown DNA found in Ongsiako’s car.
In early October, police received another important tip from mechanics repairing an air conditioner.
A knife was found on the roof of a bowling alley, which was located in the same mall where police found Ongsiako’s car.
Investigators then searched Doyle’s home and found a similar knife from the same set.
Doyle was arrested in late October 2013 and charged with six counts, including attempted murder and theft car.
According to police reports, the suspect claimed that he was under the influence of hallucinogenic “magic mushrooms” on the night of the attack.
Doyle agreed to a settlement in August 2015. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and theft of a car, and prosecutors dropped the other charges.
In October 2015, Doyle was sentenced to 15 years in prison.