Roommate of Shelby Co. woman brutally assaulted speaks out - News, Weather & Sports

Roommate of Shelby Co. woman brutally assaulted speaks out

Denisse Escareno (Source: Krissi Tipton) Denisse Escareno (Source: Krissi Tipton)
Melody Riddle Melody Riddle
Mark Bruner (Source: Shelby Co. Detention Center) Mark Bruner (Source: Shelby Co. Detention Center)
Site where Denisse Escareno was found on Nov. 5. Site where Denisse Escareno was found on Nov. 5.

SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The roommate of a Shelby County woman found critically injured after a vicious assault fears her friend may not be able to pull out of this.

Friends and family say Denisse Escareno continues to fight for her life at University Hospital, but she recently developed a small brain infection and they worry she may never be the same.

"Our whole world will never be there same," said Melody Riddle, who opened her home to the 24-year-old woman two years ago. "She's a beautiful woman who had her whole life ahead of her, who was always full of smiles."

Riddle said the family shares one car so it wasn't unusual for Escareno to walk to get where she needed to be. In a small town like Shelbyville, Riddle said Escareno always felt safe.

"Yeah she did, she walked all across town to the daycare where she works at," said Riddle.

On Nov. 5th Riddle said Escareno left to run an errand. That's when detectives say 37-year-old Mark Bruner, a man she didn't know, offered her a ride.

"He gave her a ride to the destination to the cell phone store, but he didn't take her to where she was suppose to go after that," said Riddle.

Investigators say the two were in the car for about an hour when something happened. Bruner told the Shelby County Sheriff's Office they got in a fight. Detectives say that's when he stabbed her twice. They won't say what the fight was about, but Riddle believes the man may have tried to sexually assault Escareno.

"I mean I don't think she would ever let anybody take advantage of her like that and I believe maybe that's what it escalated to," said Riddle.  

Riddle said she had to identify her roommate at the hospital and the stab wounds were the least of her concern.

"Denisse was unrecognizable, she had been beaten very severely in her head and in her face," said Riddle. "I recognized her by her fingernails."

Detectives say they believe Escareno jumped from the moving car and that's when she landed along the side of Mount Eden Road.

"He left her there for dead," said Riddle. "He thought that he had killed her."

Bruner is charged with first degree assault. Detectives say that is virtually the same as charging someone with attempted murder. They are both Class B Felonies.

Bruner remains in the Shelby County Jail with $100,000 full cash bond.  

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