MIAMI – Danielle Jones, 23, opened her eyes Sunday for the first time since police said she was beaten and nearly stabbed to death on Valentine’s Day by her 35-year-old roommate, Byron Mitchell, whom she met via Craigslist.
"Hey, Danny," her mother, Aimee Nikolov, said as Jones' eyes opened. "Hi, princess."
Nikolov had been praying for that moment for days.
"I can see that she's moving a little bit as if she's uncomfortable," Nikolov said. "She starts to move her hand."
Nearly a week ago, Jones, whom friends describe as loving and caring, found a new roommate on Craigslist to help her pay the rent.
Police said Mitchell beat up and cut Jones so badly that she nearly lost her life inside her downtown Miami apartment.
Mitchell was arrested Feb. 15. He was the one who made the 911 call for help, telling police that he was attacked by Jones and killed her in self-defense inside their apartment. Mitchell is now facing an attempted murder charge.
"Self-defense would be a black eye (or) a broken nose," Nikolov said.
Meanwhile, doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center believe Jones may have serious brain damage as a result of her injuries.
Jones' friends and family created a GoFundMe page in order to raise money and awareness about the dangers of getting a roommate on Craigslist.
The investigation remains ongoing.