When Andrea Milano went to see her longtime friend and neighbor, Virginia, Monday afternoon, she was shocked and horrified by the 82-year-old’s condition.
“I am just so mortified, you know, hearing that they beat the crud out of her and then they just left her to die,” Milano told 12 News.
“She looked so horrible and I just cried,” she said. “We've been friends for so many years and she's a beautiful person.”
Gila County Sheriff’s Department investigators say the 82-year-old was brutally beaten by two burglars who broke into her home.
It happened last Saturday just before 3 a.m. at Virginia’s home in the small town of Globe.
“It's horrific. It's impacted the whole community,” said Lt. Keith Thompson, a spokesperson for the Gila County Sheriff’s Department.
“She was washing dishes at the time of the incident,” Thompson said. “She was tapped on the shoulder and that's when the assault occurred."
Family members posted details and pictures of Virginia’s injuries on social media in hopes of finding the suspects.
In the online post, they said one of the suspects hit Virginia over the head with a blunt object then continued beating her until they thought she was unresponsive.
“They thought I was dead. She said 'I laid there like I was dead,'” Milano said Virginia told her.
“She laid there for four hours until she could crawl to a bathroom and she locked herself in the bathroom and called us for help,” Thompson said.
He says the 82-year-old was so badly beaten she couldn’t attend her husband’s funeral.
He’d passed just days before.
“To have people violate you like this," Milano said. "I'm having a hard time with it."
As Virginia was lying on the floor in a pool of blood, Thompson says the suspects ransacked her house.
While she couldn’t describe the second suspect, she told gave a description of the first man to assault her.
“A stalky white male wearing a ski mask, white ski mask that's the only description she could give,” Thompson said.
Virginia suffered a broken nose and other injuries but is now recovering with family.
Despite the horrific ordeal she just went through, Milano says Virginia once again proved what a strong, kind woman she is by telling Milano the following statement about her attackers.
“She said, ‘I forgive them but you know I want them to go to jail for what they did to me, but I forgive them,'" said Milano. "She's a wonderful Christian lady."
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