Woman recounts brutal attack at all-inclusive resort in Dominican Republic
A woman who was brutally beaten and left for dead while on vacation at a luxury Caribbean resort is speaking out months after the attack to stop others from going through a similar ordeal.
Tammy Lawrence-Daley, a 51-year-old mom of two from Wilmington, Del., took to Facebook on Wednesday to share a nightmare experience she endured while staying at Majestic Elegance, an all-inclusive hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Lawrence-Daley wrote that she was vacationing with her husband and their best friends, Diane and James, in January when the incident took place. During the second day of their trip, the group of four had gone to see one of the hotel's theatre shows, which was centered on 80s music.
After the production ended around 10:30 p.m., the couples went to their rooms, when Lawrence-Daley said she decided she wanted something to eat. She phoned room service several times before receiving a message that they were no longer serving food that evening.
"I told my husband I was going to run downstairs to the lounge in our building for a snack and I’d be back in five minutes," she wrote in a now-viral post. "I ended up bypassing the lounge in our building, and opted to go to the lounge in the next building, which was on the beach. I thought I could get some pictures of the moon on the water, but I never made it to the beach."
Lawrence-Daley recounted how she noticed it became eerily quiet while she was walking through the rotunda between buildings, before she was approached by a man allegedly wearing a uniform with the hotel's logo on it.
"I took about 10 or so steps just swinging my wristlet back and forth, not a care in the world," she wrote. "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. His arms wrapped around me and he started pulling me immediately into an unlocked maintenance room."
"I’m not going to go into the gory details of everything, however, please know that I fought with everything I had at that moment," she continued.
He was too strong. The next 8 hours brought me pain and fear. I was strangled multiple times to unconsciousness. 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’. I was unconscious multiple times during this savage attack, so I have no idea what else was done to me during that time. Somehow I survived. Again, I won't go into all of the hell that I went through being basically 'buried' in that hell hole for so many hours.
Lawrence-Daley said that her husband and friends went to the front desk at least three times throughout the night to report her missing before security would help search for her. Majestic Elegance staff took a quad down to the beach to briefly look for the missing tourist before allegedly telling the group that she had likely just passed out drunk "somewhere."
Although the attacker left her bag and phone with her in the "hole," Lawrence-Daley told PEOPLE she was unable to call for help, as she did not have cell service.
The next morning, nearly eight hours after her terrifying ordeal began, the victim was rescued after she heard voices on the floor above her and cried out for help. She was taken to a local clinic where she spent five days undergoing treatment for her injuries, including a torn lip, a broken nose, a fractured hand and partial hearing loss in her left ear. She says she is still dealing with several issues, "including nerve damage, as well as, all of the medical expenses since being home."
Lawrence-Daley also told PEOPLE she believes it is possible she was sexually assaulted due to "damage" she sustained "down there," but she is not entirely sure due to the number of times she lost consciousness. A rape kit administered days after the incident was too late to determine anything definitively.
Despite the fact that the gruesome attack took place right on hotel property, and allegedly by an employee, Lawrence-Daley says Majestic Elegance offered her absolutely no support.
"Majestic Elegance claims no responsibility for the attack since I couldn't identify the attacker (even though he was wearing a uniform WITH the resort logo and hit me directly in front of the unlocked maintenance room and dragged me down concrete stairs to a basement so that no one could hear or find me)," she wrote. "Police did find evidence of the blood smeared mop handle and a maintenance hat in the area I was found, but this means nothing in these countries."
Lawrence-Daley also expressed outrage that ordeals like her own, which she described as "hell," are able to go unpunished.
"These attacks are happening too frequently and the criminals are NOT being prosecuted even though evidence is found," she asserted. "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."
Ultimately, Lawrence-Daley says that by sharing her story, she hopes she can encourage women to keep their wits about them, wherever they may be.
"When you are in unfamiliar places, or even in familiar places, please remember … be smart, be safe," she warned.
"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."