WILMINGTON, Del. – A Delaware mother shared graphic photos of her bloodied, swollen face after she says she was attacked by a man at a Dominican Republic resort and left for dead.
Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, recounted the alleged attack in a Facebook post Wednesday. Daley says she's speaking out to warn others after local authorities and the resort have since failed to help her.
"How do you explain to your kids you were almost killed by some random stranger and that ‘Mommy is coming home, but I don’t look like myself’?" she wrote. "How do you look into your parents eyes as they gaze upon your battered face telling them, ‘I’m okay, I’ll be okay’."
Lawrence-Daley, of Wilmington, went with her husband and friends to the Caribbean island in January for a stay in Punta Cana at an all-inclusive resort called Majestic Elegance.
On the second day of their stay, the group returned from a night out dancing and watching a show to find that the kitchen was closed, Lawrence-Daley recounted. She decided to walk down to find a snack, telling her husband she'd be back in five minutes.
"As I went through the rotunda between buildings, I noticed there wasn’t anyone in the hallway," she wrote. "Not majorly odd, but still eerily quiet. I took about 10 or so steps just swinging my wristlet back and forth, not a care in the world. That's when I heard it. Heavy footsteps... one, two, three, four, then they sped up, and then before I could react I was plowed into from behind and immediately immobilized."
She said the man – wearing a uniform with the resort's logo on it – dragged her into an unlocked maintenance room and savagely beat her, choking her until she lost consciousness numerous times.
"My lifeless body was drug down concrete stairs to an underground waste water area. I was kicked in the head, I was beaten with a club. And then strangled again for the kill; at which time he disposed of my body into an area I refer to as the ‘hole’," Lawrence-Daley said in the post.
The mother of two described the "hole" to People as the "crawlspace of an underground piped area" that had between two and four inches of standing wastewater. She remained there in pain, eyes swollen shut, for about eight hours before someone finally heard her calling for help and rescued her.
She said she spent five days at a clinic in the Dominican Republic and underwent surgery to repair her injuries, adding, "I am still dealing with several issues, including nerve damage, as well as all of the medical expenses since being home."
Lawrence-Daley said police found a blood-smeared mop handle, but the investigation has stalled.
"Majestic Elegance claims no responsibility for the attack since I couldn't identify the attacker," according to her post. "There are no cameras, no bright lighting, etc."
Lawrence-Daley urged others to be careful, writing:
This man thought he killed me, but he failed. He is still out there, a predator, waiting for his next victim. Only the next woman may not be so fortunate. Please, please do not walk alone. These attacks are happening too frequently and the criminals are NOT being prosecuted even though evidence is found. Victims are not being compensated for medical or pain and suffering, and the resorts are not held liable. Majestic Elegance didn't offer to reimburse us for our vacation, let alone my current medical bills. Litigation went nowhere. Stories are being squashed.
Phone calls and emails to the resort have not been returned.
Noel Clay, a spokesman with the U.S. Department of State, told the New York Post they are “aware of the assault of US citizen Tammy Lawrence-Daley in the Dominican Republic in January 2019, and we continue to follow her case very closely.” Clay added that they are working with local authorities.
In April, the State Department issued a travel warning urging visitors to exercise increased caution, adding that "violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic."
***Warning: Some may find the graphic images below disturbing***