(INSIDE EDITION) An Indiana woman, who was savagely beaten, allegedly at the hands of her live-in boyfriend, has received an outpouring of support and donations, including a brand new car.
Carleigh Hager, 25, was beaten nearly to death, she told police, by Ryan Cameron, who tried to rip out her tongue, she said.
“He got the right side halfway,” she told CBS affiliate WTTV. “He got it halfway ripped out.”
Cameron has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery and one count of strangulation. He remains in custody at the Marion County Jail. His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 19.
Hager has been released from the hospital and is staying in an undisclosed location.
She wept tears of joy this week as friends showed her a 2016 Chevy Cruze, donated by Crawfordsville auto dealer Christi Huber, and handed her the keys.
The woman, still pretty banged up, walked gingerly to the maroon coupe and stopped several times, overcome with emotion, dropping her face into her hands.
“Oh my God,” she sobbed. “Oh my God.”
A GoFundMe page established to help cover Hager’s medical costs has raised more than $26,000.
The vehicle carries a three-year lease, which the dealer will pay every month for 36 months to boost Hager’s credit rating and help her toward financial independence, said Huber.
Hager said that she and her boyfriend had returned from a wedding nearly two weeks ago and had been arguing, she said.
Some friends came to the couple’s house and Hager said she went to bed after Cameron became verbally abusive.
But she later woke up as Cameron began choking her, she told police. The friends beat down the couple’s locked bedroom door and dragged Cameron outside, Hager said.
But he eventually made his way back inside and locked out his friends, who then called 911.
Meanwhile, Cameron had dragged Hager into the bathroom, where he beat her head against the tub, chewed off a piece of her ear and bit her all over her body, she told investigators.
She suffered a concussion, bleeding in her brain, and multiple bruises and bites, authorities said.
She has spoken out since the attack, saying she won’t back down and will continue to encourage women to leave abusive partners.
“You have to tell somebody. You can’t be embarrassed. You can’t be ashamed. You have to tell somebody because I almost died and it can happen,” she said.