Elderly West Virginia woman lucky to be alive after brutal attack

U.S. & World

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVNS) – “I reached up and I felt the blood rolling down my face,” said Cleo Halsey.

Halsey, or “Miss Cleo” as neighbors and friends lovingly call her, would kindly open her door to anyone in need.

That is what she did when a stranger knocked on her door and asked to use her phone. Little did she know it would end with her fighting for her life. 

The stranger used her phone to call another person waiting close by for the perfect time to attack Halsey.

“She called to whoever was with her and said ‘I’m on her phone’…and I guess that was his clue,” Halsey said.

Before she could even see who it was, she had a man’s arms around her neck, strangling her.

“He felt my alert necklace and said ‘what is this?’ real hateful, and I said ‘it’s my necklace’ and the next thing I knew he was ripping it off,” said Halsey.

Her son-in-law was outside mowing the lawn less than 100 feet away from where Halsey was being attacked.

When she came to, she found herself on the floor covered in blood. She said she scrambled to find her phone and managed to get a hold of her daughter 

“She detected something was wrong and I said ‘honey get here as fast as you can I’ve been beat up’,” said Halsey.

She was flown to Roanoke for emergency surgery where doctors rushed to save her life.

Still afraid to go back home, Miss Cleo is now recovering with her family and her beloved dogs. She said it was nothing short of a miracle that she survived.

When she did not know if she would make it, she passed along this message to her friends at church.

She said, “Tell them that life is short, you never know when you’re leaving this world. I said If you don’t know the Lord than come to him right away..and I would say that to anyone honey.”

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