WILLOWBROOK, Ill. -- A 26-year-old woman was the victim of a brazen attack insider her Willowbrook home over the weekend. Now, one of her neighbors is speaking out about what happened.
"She was bloody from head to toe," said Robin Courtney, recalling what happened to her neighbor on Saturday. "Her only thought was to get over here. She thought she was gonna die."
According to police, the woman who WGN-TV is not identifying was initially asked for money by the suspect on her driveway, which she declined. She then went inside her home and the attacker forced his way inside after asking to make a call, saying his car had run out of gas.
Authorities say she was stabbed 17 times as she fought off the attacker and was sexually assaulted. After he fled, she ran to Robin's home for help.
"It's a miracle her injuries were not life threatening," Robin said. "I believe the worst of it is the gashes and the breaks in her nose."
When asked if Robin thought the suspect was trying to kill her neighbor? She said, "Oh absolutely, as many times as he stabbed her I think he left her for dead."
Authorities have released a sketch of the suspect and describe him as African-American, 5'10", 160 to 180 pounds and is in his 30s. He wore a blue shirt, dark khaki shorts and white socks. He wears dreadlock curls and was unshaven.
Overnight, a dark blue Nissan Altima with tinted windows and an Indiana bicentennial license plate believed to be the suspect's was found in nearby Brookfield. Early Monday morning, the Willowbrook police chief said detectives we're gathering evidence as quickly as they could.
"The vehicle was removed from the scene and is currently being processed by evidence technicians," Willowbrook Police Chief Mark Shelton said. "Investigators are checking the vehicle registration and owners."
Still shook up by what's happened to her 26-year-old neighbor, who is friends with a daughter of the same age, Robin has a message for the attacker now the subject of a manhunt.
"I'd say 'They are going to get you and your life in prison is going to be hell!'"