HOQUIAM, Wash. - A woman who was raped and tortured in her home told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News about the horrifying ordeal as police in Grays Harbor County searched for the attacker.
The woman said she believes she survived the brutal attack to warn other women and make sure the attacker is identified and caught.
Denise, who didn't want her last name used, said she feared for her life when she encountered the attacker in her Hoquiam home Wednesday.
"Oh my God , there was this stranger that's grabbed my arm as I'm coming down the hall, and I ran for a gun," she said.
Denise said she grabbed a .38-caliber revolver, pointed it at the man's face and pulled the trigger, but the gun wasn't loaded.
"Nothing -- click! It went, click!"
She said the stranger grabbed the pistol from her hand "and he just slammed me with as much force as he could in the face with it."
Denise showed photographs of her battered face. She said that with every blow, she felt herself slipping into unconsciousness. But she fought to stay awake.
"Something said, 'Don't go out. Don't go out. Don't go out.' I would die. And I refused to die."
Denise said the man raped her and tortured her for hours.
"He drug me by every limb for three hours -- four almost, hours -- through the house."
When the man dragged her to her car and put her in the passenger seat, intending to drive away, she said he turned his back for a few seconds.
"It was instant. I just decided to run."
She said despite her injuries and heart problems, she found the strength to sprint and jump ditches.
She believes the man who escaped into the woods dropped mushrooms he'd been picking and picked her as an easy target. She said she worries for other women.
"This is an animal. He needs to be stopped. I believe if it was any other woman on this road, they would be dead today!"
Denise said the man was very small -- about 5-foot-5 -- and he spoke Spanish. Grays Harbor County detectives believe he still has the pistol he took from her.