A Latter-Day Saint missionary who was stabbed multiple times in her sleep is speaking out for the first time in months since the incident.
The incident happened Aug. 17, at around 4 a.m. at a gated complex in the 7100 block of Smiling Woods Lane.
Lauren Willardson of Utah was in her fourth month of serving in the Texas Houston Mission. That night in August, the 19-year-old woke up to a 17-year-old stabbing her and her mission companion.
In an interview with KSTU, Willardson said she and her companion tried fighting off the suspect.
"[I] started fighting him. Trying to get him to leave, and honestly, struggling for our lives," Willardson said.
Willardson added that the struggle lasted about 15 minutes and she suffered nine stab wounds in total. One of the lacerations narrowly missed a main vein. When the suspect left, Willardson was able to call for help. She and her companion were taken to a hospital for treatment.
"When we got to the hospital and the surgeons were evaluating us and everything, they told my parents that the knife went right in between a main vein and a main artery in my arm," Willardson said.
As investigators looked for answers outside the apartment, a crime scene investigator spotted a man standing outside the front gate of the complex who appeared to have been involved in the ordeal.
Willardson said that as she watched news coverage from the hospital, she recognized the teen as her neighbor within the apartment complex. The man was taken into custody.
In her recovery, Willardson said her faith has been strengthened and hopes to receive a new mission call in the coming weeks.