A woman abducted, raped, slashed and stuffed into the trunk of her boyfriend's car survived for eight days by playing dead, rationing a bag of peanuts and drinking rainwater, police said Friday.
"It's a miracle she survived," Des Plaines police Sgt. Larry Zumbrock said. "Her survival is testimony to her will to survive. That's probably the only reason."Don Juan Blackmon, 32, of Markham, was held on $500,000 bond for attempted murder, aggravated battery, kidnapping and sexual assault. The case came to light Thursday after the woman jimmied the lock on the truck and escaped.
"She was severely dehydrated. One officer said she was emaciated. She had deep cuts on her face, arms and legs. All her wounds were infected. But she's very coherent. Considering the strain, it is remarkable," Zumbrock said.
Blackmon allegedly picked up the woman somewhere in Harvey April 17 and drove her to the parking lot of the Des Plaines warehouse where he worked. The woman then was attacked, slashed and put into the trunk of the automobile.
He allegedly drove around for a week with the woman, who is in her 30s and a Harvey resident, in the trunk. She played dead to avoid being slashed again, police said.
"Apparently, he left her for dead. We were very surprised that she was alive," Zumbrock said.
Zumbrock said the woman either had a bag of peanuts in her pants pocket or found a bag of peanuts in the trunk and survived by eating a few a day. He said she also drank water that collected in the trunk.
Police arrested Blackmon as he returned to the warehouse following a delivery. "Probably in another half hour she'd have been riding around in the car with him again," Zumbrock said.
The woman had numerous, deep cuts on her body and was hospitalized in fair condition.
Des Plaines police detective Robert Schultz said the woman had been dating Blackmon for about one year. Blackmon allegedly told her he needed her to collect some money from a friend but then raped her at knifepoint before forcing her into the trunk.
Assistant Cook County State Attorney Lawrence Lykowski said after a day in the trunk, the woman kicked it and demanded to be let go. Blackmon allegedly opened the trunk and said, "You ain't dead yet?" and then slashed and beat her. The woman then played dead until she escaped by using a hooked bolt to pry open the trunk.