A young girl from Fort Worth, Texas is currently recovering in the hospital after being attacked on her way to school.
Dorika Uwimana’s parents have remained hopeful during their daughter’s traumatic experience and pray that her new heart transplant will help with her recuperate.
Fort Worth Police Detective Pat Henz told CBSDFW, “She’s a fighter; she’s a survivor.”
On April 9, the little girl was walking to a school bus stop when a strange white man identified as Terry Wayne King II approached her.
“He told my daughter, ‘I need help.’ My daughter said, ‘Right now, I go to school but I can give you help. Which help you need?'” said Uwimana’s father Twizere Buhinga.
The suspect choked, beaten and forced the Internationally Newcomer Academy student who was 12 years old at the time to the ground. However, Uwimana was able to escape from King and run to the nearest school bus for help. The bus driver called the police.
Authorities said the young girl wasn’t sexually assaulted, but the lack of oxygen she suffered from during her attack severely damaged her heart.
“The heart is not working good, lungs not working, lungs working a little bit,” Buhinga told Fox 5.
The attack was so severe that Uwimana wasn’t able to speak to authorities because of the injuries she sustained.
Henz told the news station, “I think her faith, the faith that her family has given her, the support that she has had is what kept us going on this case. She was an inspiration to find a (resolution) to this case.”
King was arrested in July by U.S. Marshals in Oklahoma City. The suspect fled from Fort Worth the day after attacking the 13-year-old. He was charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony. Police don’t know his exact motive for attacking the child. The suspect is a truck driver and authorities fear there have been other victims.
Buhinga said it’s relief that his daughter’s attacker has been arrested.
“Right now, I feel good because I was scared too much, but now I feel good because the bad guy over there,” expressed the father of six.
The victim’s family are refugees from the Republic of Congo and moved to the U.S. for a better life.
“This case this was a senseless act, a violent act on her,” said the detective.
Uwimana is currently recovering and doctors were able to successfully perform her heart transplant surgery in July.