Woman speaks to Local 10 News after surviving beating by Craigslist roommate

Danielle Jones, 23, was in coma for 24 days after Valentine's Day attack

By Michael Seiden - Reporter

MIAMI - A South Florida woman spoke exclusively to Local 10 News Wednesday, months after she was attacked by her roommate who she found on Craigslist.

Danielle Jones, 23, said that she can't remember anything about Valentine's Day -- the day prosecutors say she was brutally attacked by her roommate.

Byron Mitchell, 36 is being held in jail awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, Jones is out of the hospital, laughing and spending time with family. She said she is hopeful that she will make a full recovery.

Jones said she was working two jobs while pursuing her dream of becoming a police officer when nearly died.

Police said she was beaten, stabbed and choked by Mitchell, who had contacted her about renting a room through a listing on Craigslist.

After spending 24 days in a coma, Jones said she is ready to share her story for the first time.

"I didn't expect to come out like this and I didn't expect to look normal," Jones said. "I didn't really even expect to live because of what happened."

Jones had rented an apartment in Miami's Overtown neighborhood with another person, but she said her roommate decided to leave without notice.

Jones was left feeling desperate to pay her bills, so she turned to Craigslist to find a new roommate.

"How did you end up with this guy in your apartment?" Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden asked.

"I interviewed him the first time I met him," Jones said. "He was really nice and his resume looked nice. He could've fooled anyone."

Prosecutors said Mitchell snapped after one week of living with Jones, attacking her while the two were alone inside the apartment.

"I think he attacked me because I didn't like him and he liked me," Jones said.  

"So you think this was about him being jealous?" Seiden asked.

"Yes, I think that was what it was about," Jones said.

Mitchell is charged with attempted murder.

According to authorities, he called 911 and claimed that he attacked Jones in self-defense.

Jones has since been living with her mother and stepfather.

The two are supporting Jones during her recovery and are also raising money to take care of mounting medical bills.

"She's got her personality back. She speaks. It is amazing from where she was until now," Jones' mother, Aimee Nikolov, said. "Even in the short period of time it has been."

Nikolov said her daughter had severe head trauma and multiple cuts, but she's still expected to make a full recovery.

"I feel grateful," Jones said. "I just want to say thank you to everyone."

Click here to donate to Jones to help with her care and rehabilitation.
 

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