Lydia Tillman, Survives Attack by Killer,Travis Forbes/sentenced to 48 years for attempted murder of Tillman/Forbes also convicted for the murder of 19-year-old Kenia Monge & receives life

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:37 am

Woman,
ABC NewsBy MICHAEL KOENIGS and ALICE GOMSTYN | ABC News – 14 hrs ago

"I can talk," said Lydia Tillman with pride and great effort. For a woman who spent over five weeks in a coma after being sexually assaulted, strangled and doused in bleach, this is no small feat.

"I'm tough," said Tillman, an acclaimed sommelier and a seasoned world traveler.

At a 4th of July fireworks celebration in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado, Tillman, 30, met a stranger who returned with her to her apartment, sexually assaulted and strangled her, beat her head, shattered her jaw, and left her for dead. To cover his crime, police say the man then poured bleach on her body and throughout her apartment, then started a fire.

Despite the physical trauma, Tillman found the strength to survive by leaping out of her second-story window and running into the awaiting ambulance. When the medics asked whether she knew the assailant, Tillman repeatedly told them "No, no, no" before suffering a stroke that left her in a coma for over five weeks.

Tillman would later learn that police had already been building a case against her attacker for an assault on another woman -- an assault that ended in murder.

After 19-year-old Kenia Monge went missing in downtown Denver on April 1, police questioned Travis Forbes, 31, a local entrepreneur, after Monge's step-father found a text message from Forbes on Monge's cell phone.

Forbes told police that he had met Monge while she was drunk and incoherent near a popular nightclub. He offered to give her a ride home in his van but on the way, he said, Monge wanted a cigarette so Forbes stopped his van at a Conoco gas station. At the gas station, Forbes claimed, Monge ran into a fellow smoker and left with him.

As police dug into Forbes' story, several red flags appeared. His old van smelled overwhelmingly of bleach and its carpet was brand new. Though he ran his own business -- Forbes made a living selling gluten-free granola bars -- his background was spotty. At the time, Forbes was on probation for domestic violence and had several other run-ins with the law. As for the gas station where Forbes claimed to have taken Monge -- police learned it had been closed that night.

Surveillance tapes from the bakery where Forbes rented space raised even more suspicion: On the night after Monge's disappearance, the bakery's security camera had captured Forbes coming into the bakery owner's office and unplugging the surveillance system. Another camera captured Forbes carting in a cooler and putting it inside a freezer.

It was a significant discovery, police said, because Forbes had told them he was making deliveries that day.

"If you just made all your deliveries, why would you need a cart to bring in an empty cooler?" said Denver detective Nash Gurule, who investigated the case.

Other surveillance footage would explain the peculiar condition of Forbes' van -- cameras caught Forbes holding rags and a bottle of bleach.

Two weeks after Monge's disappearance, police caught up with Forbes in Austin, Texas, where he had taken a friend's car. They charged him with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Gurule traveled to Texas and interrogated Forbes for hours, but he wouldn't confess. After being brought back to Colorado in police custody, the stolen vehicle complaint against Forbes was dropped and police went back to building their case.

"We want to have a strong case -- a case that we know, that when we get into a courtroom, that the jury is gonna say, 'This guy killed her, this guy did this,'" Gurule said.

Waiting for Forbes' arrest was hard on Monge's family.

"I never wavered in front of my wife or my kids ever. I could not," said Tony Lee, Monge's step-father who had suspicions about Forbes from the start. "But I needed my moments too. I'd tell her I'm going to Wal-Mart … and I'd lose it privately, to myself. I didn't share with anyone."

DNA and Bleach Clue Connect Cases

On the morning of the attack on Lydia Tillman, her father Willy Tillman received a call from the hospital. "When we got there, we could not recognize Lydia. There was no way you would know that it was Lydia. Her head was all swelled up, black and blue, no way to recognize her." The only signs that allowed Lydia's family to identify her were a ring that she wore and a tattoo on her leg.

All the family knew for certain was that the attacker was a stranger.

"She had been attacked and beaten and left for dead and her apartment set on fire, and she managed to jump out the second-floor widow to save herself, and that's what we knew," said Willy Tillman.

After learning that Tillman was doused with bleach, Denver Detective Nash Gurule had a good idea of who the stranger could be.

"I said, you know, 'It sounds like him…he likes bleach. This is his thing," he said.

Sure enough, when police Detective Jaclyn Shaklee tested the DNA under Tillman's finger nails, it came back as a match for Travis Forbes.

Fort Collins police arrested Forbes they found him walking home with another woman near the Colorado State University campus on July 10.

He confessed to both the assault of Tillman and murder of Kenia Monge after prosecutors agreed to not to charge him under the death penalty. He explained he had stored Monge's body in that suspicious cooler before burying her in a field. He later cleaned out his van with bleach, he told police, and burned anything Monge touched.

Lydia was still in a coma when Forbes was arrested. She finally regained consciousness after five weeks and when she did, her anger was palpable: she repeatedly attempted to tear away the tubes feeding her stomach and even dismantling a bolt in her head that monitored her brain pressure.

Only two days after she emerged from her coma, Lydia began writing the statement that she would eventually submit to the court at Forbes' sentencing on Sept. 27.

Standing at her father's side in a packed courtroom of friend and family supporters, Tillman stared defiantly at Travis Forbes, who sat constrained in chains only a few feet away.

In her statement, she wrote:"Travis Forbes, you caused me no harm. My spirit, my soul and my mind remain untouched. May you find peace in this life."

It took her over an hour to compose the three sentences which she wrote by hand on a piece of notebook paper.

Though the brain and throat damage from the attack has severely limited Tillman's ability to speak, she told ABC News in a written statement, "It was my intention to find the strength in my heart to forgive Travis Forbes. I did. I felt extreme anger toward him, then I felt sad for him. He must be in so much extreme pain to so brutally hurt another human."

As she continues her recovery, Tillman wears a bracelet encouraging herself and others to "Live Your Days Inspired Anew." She is now able to run several miles a day and participate in a local yoga class. By the end of the year, Lydia hopes to climb the 14,000-foot mountain, Longs Peak.

Monge's family, meanwhile, hopes that their daughter's story will serve as warning to other women.

"I want the brutality to be out there as a learning tool," Lee said. "I want women to know that this could happen to you."

Watch the full story on "Caught in the Act," a special "20/20" Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:37 am

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:43 am

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Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:01 am

IMO there are other victims of this man who came before Kenia and Lydia.
The shear fact that he committed the attack on Lydia knowing he was under suspicion in Kenia's disappearance leans me in this direction. Because he was with another woman at the time, LE may very well have interrupted him leaving another victim when they picked him up.

As far as Lydia's forgiveness goes... She is a very strong young woman... I don't possess the ability to forgive that level of brutality.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:50 pm

The shear fact that he committed the attack on Lydia knowing he was under suspicion in Kenia's disappearance leans me in this direction.
I thought the EXACT same thing when I saw the show last night. WHY would he attack yet Again knowing he is being "watched"????

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:07 am

Recovering victim gets violin from caregivers

By ANASTASIYA BOLTON KUSA-TV | Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 am
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Lydia Tillman walks back to her seat after making a statement at a hearing where Travis Forbes confessed to assaulting Tillman earlier at the Larimer County Justice Center in Fort Collins, Colo.

DENVER — Lydia Tillman is a living example of a person who benefited from the kindness of others.

Tillman was nearly killed by now-convicted killer Travis Forbes in July 2011. Forbes broke into her apartment, sexually assaulted her, beat her, tried to strangle her and set her apartment on fire.

After Forbes left her to die, Tillman jumped out of her second-story window. That action saved her life, but left her extremely injured.

Tillman, 31, was in the University of Colorado Hospital's Intensive Care Unit for five weeks. Around 30 people, including doctors and nurses, helped bring her back to life.

"(Forbes) injured her brain. He shattered her jaw. He strangled her neck," said Robert Neumann, medical director of neurological and neurosurgical intensive care unit at UCH. "He bruised her lungs and broke ribs. She also had a shattered left wrist, shattered left ankle, multiple large bruises from stomping injuries and some amount of gastro-intestinal bleeding."

Forbes confessed to attacking Tillman and to killing Aurora teenager Kenia Monge. He's serving life in prison.

Neumann bonded with Tillman — a rare story for a doctor who sees multiple patients every day.

"Part of the bond for me occurred in kind of a humorous way. We were beginning to wake her up out of coma at a point when she had a fair amount of drugs in her body, enough to make most people quite sleepy," Neumann said. "She took a swing at me with her left arm. I knew we had somebody with a fair amount of spirit in our hands."

Even after spending so much time in the ICU, Tillman doesn't remember any of it.

Most of the time, the ICU team does not get to meet the patients who come out of their unit. So recently, Tillman went to UCH to meet them.

"Lydia!" one nurse exclaimed.

"Sorry, we're strangers hugging you, but it's so good to see you," another said.

"This is what makes our job worth it, truly," said Kathi Waite, nurse manager of the neuro ICU.

It was an emotional reunion for Tillman and the people who care for her. Tillman asked the staff what their positions were and gave them bracelets and T-shirts as gifts.

"Unquestionably, she's inspirational to our staff,"
Neumann said. "In Lydia's case, she did disproportionately well. She did better than I think we predicted. In that way, she gives us hope, and that allows us to give hope to others."

Tillman was not the only person who bestowed gifts that day. The nurses and Neumann gave Tillman a violin that had been damaged in the apartment fire.

Neumann had Rock Eggen of Eggen Violins and his apprentice, Sam Gathman, fix the instrument.

Tillman may not be able to play the violin immediately. She has trouble feeling the fingers on her right hand. But she was excited to get her instrument back.

"My brain is going to work hard in different ways," Tillman said.

Eggen and Gathman did not know Tillman's story, but they took fixing her violin to heart.

"I think it's difficult for her to talk," Gathman said. "So, if she can play, that's a way for her to communicate and show how she is feeling. It's kind of a small way for her to celebrate her story and help her with her ongoing recovery."

Tillman says her job right now is to get better. She has therapy every day, whether it be speech, occupational or physical. She talks slowly and deliberately.

Neumann says that, at one point, doctors were concerned about her ability to speak.

"It really does make a huge difference in terms of outcome and recovery if someone can express themselves, and of course, understand what other people are telling them," Neumann said. "We were worried she would lose motor control on her right side, and she has recovered remarkably."

Neumann gave Tillman all the credit for how far she's come.

"She really did the hard work," he said. "She was the one hauling the freight. She really did it."

"I want to enjoy this life as much as possible," Tillman said. "And I hope others do the same."


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What an up-lifting story!! Lydia is an inspiration!!

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Post by HippyChick2 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Amen, she is!!!

I am thankful she remembers nothing of ICU.
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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:43 pm

You're right. Thank God that is wiped clean from her memory!!

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:50 pm


DENVER - Kenia Monge's father, Tony Lee, has written Travis Forbes twice. He told 9NEWS he will write Forbes, the man who brutally killed his daughter, once a month for the rest of his life until he talks to him.

Forbes is serving a life sentence in prison after he admitted to killing Monge in Denver and admitting to the attempted murder of Lydia Tillman in Fort Collins. Forbes pleaded guilty to attacking Tillman and then setting her apartment on fire.

"I need to have blanks filled in," Lee said, "no matter how horrific they are."

9NEWS Crime and Justice Reporter Anastasiya Bolton also sent Forbes two letters. Both times, she asked for an on-camera interview, which is general practice for 9NEWS.

Bolton received a 16-page response from Forbes this week.

In the letter, Forbes shows a variety of emotions, including anger and guilt, but doesn't really explain why he did what he did.

At one point, while talking about Tillman, he said "he's not a man."

"I've covered my mirror with paper so I don't have to look at myself when I brush my teeth," Forbes wrote.

He talks about attacking Tillman in her home, writes about their conversation and says he regrets attacking her and setting the fire.

"I had a moment ... a voice inside me said, 'Leave! Leave right now, don't do this,'" Forbes wrote.

Forbes also wrote that Tillman "is the happy ending because without her, I never would have admitted to killing Kenia or leading cops to where I buried her."

Forbes wrote he didn't know Monge was "only" 19 years old.

"If I had known, I wouldn't have taken advantage of her," he wrote.

"A classic psychopath," said Dr. Kim Gorgens, a clinical associate professor and director of continuing education at the University of Denver's graduate school of professional psychology.

Gorgens has not evaluated Forbes herself, but one of her classes, Psychology of Criminal Behavior, wrote him as well and received a 60-plus page response. In some ways, it is similar to the one Bolton received.

"It certainly plays to contemporary theories about remorse for anyone who wants to believe that people are good that you can repent for sins: I regret it now, I'm a better person and I appreciate it," she said about the letter to her class. "These are folks who characteristically lack empathy. They just don't have a conscience. They prey on victims in society in a way that is so foreign to the rest of us who think, 'God, how could you do that?'"

Gorgens says her class dissects criminals' histories, backgrounds to figure out why people do horrible things. In the 11 years she's taught this class, students have studies six criminals a year, often high-profile ones.

"Ultimately, you hope something could be fruitful in acting more quickly to intervene, say you're working with juvenile offenders, to recognize risk immediately and be able to respond more quickly," she said.

Gorgens says in Forbes' case, we may never know why.

9NEWS reached out to the Tillmans, but has not heard back.

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crazy3 Must-see video above!!! Another Casey!

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:37 am

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Visit NBCNews.com for [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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Post by raine1953 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:42 pm

Dateline had a very good segment on this guy the other night. I don't know if the whole video is posted above because my computer has a problem with videos.
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:43 pm

It's only a 2 min clip. Sorry you can't see videos. pulling hair

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:52 pm

Travis Forbes assault victim slowly recovering
4:17 PM, Sep 25, 2012
Written by
Anastasiya Bolton
9News.com

A Fort Collins woman who bravely saved her own life by jumping out of a second-story window after being savagely attacked by a convicted killer is slowly recovering. However, her recovery is not breaking her spirit.

Lydia Tillman, 32, made it through an attack by a man who had already killed one woman by the time he entered her Fort Collins apartment on July 4, 2011.

Travis Forbes assaulted Tillman and set her apartment on fire. At the time, the then-31-year-old Tillman had to jump out of a second-story window to save her own life.

If Tillman had not jumped out of that window on that day, she may have never met a woman she considers a close, dear friend. Dr. Jill Armour is Tillman's speech therapist. They have grown close after the horrific tragedy.

"I'm so proud of you, Armour told Tillman. "I love you."

RECOVERY

Tillman has been doing speech therapy with Dr. Armour since she got out of her coma and rehab in October 2011.

Tillman woke up from a coma not being able to speak. By the time she met Dr. Armour in October 2011, she knew 10 words.

"No, yes, thank you," Tillman recalls, counting with her fingers and her speech still a bit slow.

"We started working on you being able to say your name," Armour said.

"I was so frustrated to not be able to speak my name," Tillman said. "But it's all over, Lydia!"

Her enthusiasm and optimism is who Tillman is.

"I can't help it," she said, "It's inherent in my personality."

She and Armour used to meet almost every day in the beginning so she could learn how to speak again.

Now, Tillman is not only much faster with her speech, since 9NEWS last talked to her in February 2012, but she's gone back to her part-time job at the Natural Wine Company. Her therapy sessions with Armour are now down to three days a week.

"Lydia always wants to up the difficulty, and take on another challenge," Armour said.

"It's necessary for me to challenge myself," Tillman chimed in. "Thanks to you, I never got bored."

NEW CHALLENGE

Because of Tillman's inherent optimism, she says she's not worried about the next chapter.

She doesn't have health insurance and needs to raise $65,000 to pay for jaw surgery which Forbes broke in multiple places. Tillman hasn't been able to chew normally since then and hasn't been able to eat regular food.

The surgeons in California are the best she said. They already gave her a 20 percent discount on an expensive procedure.

"I have the utmost faith in people, humans, they'll take care of me," Tillman said. "I can chew soft foods only, and I blend my greens because my teeth don't match up. I miss salad."

By next spring, she hopes to have some salad again.

Her brother Jacob is helping raise funds, which you can donate to here, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

FUTURE

"[She's] just sounding so much more normal," Armour said.

Tillman's lost a lot in the attack, including her fluency in Spanish. Armour hopes she will get it back, eventually.

FORBES

In April 2011, Forbes killed Aurora teen Kenia Monge, leading Denver Police to her body months later. Forbes is currently serving a life sentence without parole for the crimes.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:33 pm

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Normal Lydia Tillman, Colorado Rape Victim, Gets Help Paying Medical Bills From Brother's 'Kickin It' Fundraising Campaign

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:17 pm



The Huffington Post | By Ryan Grenoble
Posted: 09/27/2012 9:31 am EDT Updated: 09/27/2012 11:38 am EDT

A little over a year after Lydia Tillman was brutally raped and beaten, the Colorado survivor is fighting to recover, and is leaning on donors for help.

Tillman was barely alive on July 5, 2011 when her attacker, later identified as Travis Forbes, poured bleach on her body in an attempt to remove his DNA after having raped and beaten his victim. He lit her apartment on fire and fled the scene, leaving her to burn alive.

But the now 32-year-old wouldn't give up. She escaped the flames by jumping out a second-story window.

In doing so, she also preserved her attacker's DNA, providing investigators enough evidence not only to arrest Forbes for his gruesome attack, but also to tie Forbes to the disappearance of Kenia Monge, another woman who'd gone missing earlier that year.

Tillman's ordeal, however, was far from over. Though she could communicate with staff at the hospital when she first arrived, a massive stroke, triggered by her injuries, soon landed her in a medically-induced coma in the ICU for the next five weeks.

"I believe that Lydia shouldn't have survived that day," her doctor, Rebecca Bearden, told Dateline NBC. "She went through so much and she probably shouldn't have made it but she did, and it was because of her determination and her joy."

When Forbes was sentenced to 48 years in prison, on top of a life sentence later that year, the tenacious fighter watched from her seat in court as her dad read a statement she'd prepared. "You caused me no harm. My spirit, my soul and my mind remain untouched," he read. "May you find peace in this life."

And while a year later, Tillman's spirit is still intact, she still needs to undergo a number of costly medical procedures. Her brother, Jacob, has launched an online fundraising campaign to help raise $65,000, enough to cover the cost of reconstructive jaw surgery Lydia will receive in January, The NY Daily News reports.

According to the campaign's Indiegogo page, Tillman is still working to regain her speech and motor functions. "This is a very long and difficult process," writes Jacob, "but she is doing great and continues to improve every day."

"She was an inspiration to everyone she met even before this happened, but is ever more so now."

Contributions to Lydia Tillman's recovery campaign can be made online, here, at the Indiegogo page. As of this writing, the fund had raised $23,677 towards its $65,000 goal.

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I think many can learn important lessons from Lydia. She is someone I greatly admire.

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Normal Re: Lydia Tillman, Survives Attack by Killer,Travis Forbes/sentenced to 48 years for attempted murder of Tillman/Forbes also convicted for the murder of 19-year-old Kenia Monge & receives life

Post by raine1953 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:07 am

I agree with you Wrap. This is one tough lady and I am in awe of her.
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Normal Re: Lydia Tillman, Survives Attack by Killer,Travis Forbes/sentenced to 48 years for attempted murder of Tillman/Forbes also convicted for the murder of 19-year-old Kenia Monge & receives life

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:02 am

Update: Lydia Tillman's Recovery in 2013
By Robert Dean
Producer, Dateline NBC
We first interviewed Lydia Tillman in May 2012 and even then she had made a remarkable recovery from her horrific injuries. Now less than a year later, Lydia continues to make astonishing strides. She is now working part time, taking yoga classes, driving, traveling and living independently. She told us that “it’s good to be working again, but at times it’s exhausting and frustrating to be juggling brain injuries and work.”
Lydia continues to undergo speech therapy and her ability to speak fluently with an expanded vocabulary continues to improve at a rate no one ever expected. She also recently worked with the Arvada, Colorado Police Department and helped them with teaching self-defense classes for women. Lydia says she talked to them about “staying calm in the face of danger and having no fear.”
In May of this year Lydia will undergo major surgery on her jaw that will allow her chew better and eat crunchy foods. Up to now she has only been able to eat softer foods.
Perhaps most importantly Lydia's indomitable spirit and zest for life endures. Her road to recovery continues to amaze everyone, except of course Lydia who always expected to resume her full and active lifestyle.
For more information on Lydia, you can visit her Facebook page 'Friends of Lydia'.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
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Normal Travis Forbes gets 48 more years for Tillman murder attempt Read more: Travis Forbes gets 48 more years for Tillman murder attempt

Post by raine1953 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:02 pm

FORT COLLINS — Convicted killer Travis Forbes wanted to skip his sentencing hearing for his attempted murder of Lydia Tillman in July in Fort Collins.
But Larimer County District Judge Thomas French denied his motion to be absent, so Forbes was forced to listen again to Tillman's words of forgiveness and defiance Friday morning.
much more at: Travis Forbes gets 48 more years for Tillman murder attempt - The Denver Post [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Normal Re: Lydia Tillman, Survives Attack by Killer,Travis Forbes/sentenced to 48 years for attempted murder of Tillman/Forbes also convicted for the murder of 19-year-old Kenia Monge & receives life

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:37 pm

Thanks so much for this!! Lydia has been through pure HELL!

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Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
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