A Kentucky college student nearly died of injuries in her dorm room. What happened to her is a mystery.

Trending 1 month ago

Isabella Willingham has nary recollection of what happened successful precocious November when she mislaid consciousness successful her Asbury University dorm room and woke up pinch bruises, cuts and heavy gashes connected her body.

More than 3 months later, Willingham, 21, has not returned to nan field successful Wilmore, Kentucky, her father, Andy Willingham, said Thursday.

The elder Willingham has criticized nan Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office for really it initially handled nan investigation and said nan assemblage has not done capable to alert nan field astir what he believes was an assault.

Representatives for Asbury University and nan sheriff’s agency said nan investigation is ongoing, which limits their expertise to speak successful depth.

Willingham said what happened to his girl was “purely beingness torture.” She is still recovering physically, fears for her information and is successful therapy, he said.

“It has changed her direction. She doesn’t cognize if she’s going backmost to school, whether it would beryllium Asbury aliases anyplace else,” Willingham said. “She’s trying to portion her world backmost together.”

Isabella Willingham.Isabella Willingham.Courtesy Andy Willingham

He said his daughter’s representation has besides been affected by nan incident.

“She has nary representation astir thing astir that day. She does not retrieve nan erstwhile time erstwhile I brought her backmost to campus. She has forgotten respective things that person occurred during nan semester itself,” he said.

Around 11 pm. Nov. 27, the resident head of Isabella Willingham’s dorm told her family she was being taken to nan emergency room because she whitethorn person fallen disconnected her loft-style bed, which was astir 5 to 5 ½ feet disconnected nan ground, her begetter said. But he added that nan anticipation of that was distant because she was protected by a obstruction astir 8 inches supra her mattress.

After Andy Willingham arrived astatine University of Kentucky Hospital successful Lexington, a chaplain told him that his girl was connected a ventilator and had gruesome injuries.

Minutes later, nan chaplain returned pinch 2 sheriff’s deputies who were called to nan infirmary because doctors wished his daughter’s injuries were astir apt caused by maltreatment aliases a beating, Willingham said.

Willingham besides learned his girl stopped breathing connected her ain for astir 23 minutes, almost precisely erstwhile emergency aesculapian unit arrived astatine her dorm and saved her life. She besides stopped breathing for about 9 minutes astatine nan hospital, he said.

She was hospitalized for astir 2 weeks earlier she was released, her begetter said.

Isabella WillinghamIsabella Willingham almost died aft she mislaid consciousness successful her dorm room astatine Asbury University and woke up to injuries covering her body.Courtesy Andy Willingham

Willingham, 59, said some Asbury University — where he met his woman and from which he graduated successful 1991 — and nan Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office person near a batch to beryllium desired successful really they person handled nan incident and reached retired to nan nationalist pinch pertinent information.

“The assemblage is trying to hide this. They are much concerned astir protecting their estimation than they are astir doing nan correct point and protecting nan students and uncovering an reply to this,” Willingham said. 

He said Asbury grounded to notify nan field astir what occurred until early December, aft a section media report. He besides said nan incident was not added to nan campus crime study until later that month, aft his girl insisted connected it.

A typical for Asbury University said successful an email Thursday: “This matter is portion of an ongoing investigation by nan due authorities and pinch the University’s afloat cooperation. We are incapable to supply immoderate updates aliases circumstantial accusation astatine this time. Asbury’s privilege remains nan information and wellbeing of its students, faculty, and staff. Please mention each further inquires to nan Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office.”

Willingham said he was besides upset aft a WKYT-TV of Lexington reported in early December that nan sheriff’s agency said his girl astir apt had a aesculapian section and called allegations that she was beaten “lies.”

After Christmas break, nan sheriff’s agency told students successful nan dormitory by email that it was investigating an incident and to travel guardant if they had information, Willingham said. NBC News has not seen nan email.

Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Purcell said Thursday: “It’s an unfastened investigation astatine this time, and our rules are not to remark connected an unfastened investigation.”

Willingham said that a rape kit wished his girl was not sexually assaulted and that toxicology reports “found thing of concern.” NBC News has not reviewed nan reports. 

His girl has nary history of intelligence unwellness aliases hurting herself, Willingham said.

Willingham said immoderate of her injuries were bizarre: Eight of her acrylic nails either were ripped disconnected aliases fell off, and she had nearly identical bruises connected some sides of her pelvis.

“The tops of her feet looked for illustration she had been [dragged] crossed actual aliases a gravel area,” he said.

Willingham wants to spot personification arrested and charged for what happened to his daughter.

“Ideally, we would find who did this and justness would beryllium done,” he said. “Also, nan schoolhouse would beryllium forthright successful communicating to nan student assemblage astir imaginable threats and risks connected campus.”

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is simply a breaking news newsman for NBC News Digital. 

Madelyn Urabe