MANTOLOKING – Teresa LoNigro spent Sunday until Thursday morning in the intensive care unit. Now, being placed into a rehabilitation hospital to tend to her wounds, she is reflecting on what happened and wants to make sure that nothing like this happens to anyone else.
LoNigro, of Sayreville, was held hostage and badly beaten by her ex-boyfriend, Edward M. Walsh, 40, of Lacey. He holed up in a house belonging to someone he knew in Mantoloking. When police arrived, Walsh refused to drop a knife he had. A K-9 was loosed on him and he stabbed the dog. Shots were fired. An autopsy will determine whether it was the shots that killed him or the knife he brought to his throat.
Kane, the K-9, has since been released from the hospital to recuperate at home, to much online fanfare from animal lovers. Just as much publicity has been foisted upon LoNigro and her family. And with the spotlight on her she wants to let people know: She’s strong and she’s a fighter.
She was strong before, her daughter Samantha Smith said. And that strength was tested. She suffered multiple fractures to her head and face, and has a brain bleed now.
Walsh locked her in her bedroom for four hours, her daughter said. He held a knife to her throat, and struck her with the dull end. Contrary to published reports, that was the only weapon used. All the damage was done with his hands and feet.
“He kicked her until her ribs were broken,” she said. “He punched her. He hit her. He thought she was dead. He left her for dead.
“She lasted through something that should have killed her,” she said. “She went through this traumatic, crazy experience that no one should have to live through.”
What makes this horrible experience even more insane is that he never raised a hand to her before, she said. Her mother still doesn’t know what caused him to fly into a fury like this.
They had been together for about a year, Smith said. They were on and off at times, trying to work it out like any other couple.
Even though there wasn’t a history of abuse in the relationship, things can turn bad really quickly. Her mother has a message for people who are reading this right now: If you are in a situation where you feel afraid of your partner, find someone you trust for help.
There are options for women who are in danger. One is Dottie’s House, a safe place for women and children who want to escape from domestic violence and learn how to be self sufficient. They can be contacted at 732-262-2009.
How To Help
A GoFundMe page was started to help with LoNigro’s medical bills. She has insurance, but the bills are likely to pile up from such catastrophic issues. After one day, the site raised more than $8,600.
“Teresa, also known as “Mother Teresa,” a nickname given to her by friends and colleagues, is one of the most caring and generous people around. She is the type of person who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. If you were having a bad day she would put her problems aside and be your shoulder to cry on. Please help Teresa, as medical bills are mounting. She is a wonderful person and mother, who does not deserve this fate,” wrote Kristin Leigh, who started the GoFundMe.
Donations can be made at gofundme.com/6em3xqo?fbclid=IwAR2qZj5jeIEUm0je3BvMZdtdns3IvxSmwAcVjBanCgA0QDDNuPCvdHcD00U