Girl beaten and left for dead: 'Nothing justifies what happened to her'
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - 17-year-old Tyneshia Nettles says she was beaten and left for dead in the early morning of November 24, 2012.
Nettles says she was drinking with a few of her friends in the dugouts at Hamlin Middle School in Springfield that night. She said she doesn't have any memory of how she was injured - or who assaulted her - when she woke up a couple hours later covered in blood.
Tyneshia says she didn't realize the extent of her injuries when she later walked into a Fred Meyer parking lot in Springfield and asked a woman for a ride home.
"She saw that I was hurt and made me get in the car and call an ambulance," Nettles said.
Nettles is still undergoing surgery to reconstruct her face. She says the assault left her with massive facial injuries. (WARNING: Some may find the photos disturbing)
"I was missing 4 teeth on top, and my bottom teeth were like lying flat back, and then my broken jaw and I had cuts all over my face. My lip was like... I was missing part of my lip. So it's all small now. I had to have teeth pulled and bone grafts and I have a pulled plate in my jaw, and I still have to get more," Nettles said.
She says her friends have changed their stories about what happened to her, most recently settling on this account:
"They say they walked me to the skate park and I got picked up in a car by a bunch of black guys and that I was too drunk and couldn't walk or something," Nettles said.
Springfield Police Detective George Crolly says they're investigating the case as a felony assault, saying that the police department is now seeking the public's help in finding a suspect.
"What I can tell you is that Tyneshia's initial statements about the incident have changed to something else over time and it's not necessarily through lying or deceiving I don't think at any point, purposely to hinder the investigation. I think it may be some apprehension on her part to talk about what happened, maybe through fear maybe for other reasons," Crolly said.
Nettles friends and family have since organized what they call a "rush hour rally" to raise awareness about Tyneshia's assault. Once a week, they march around the area they believe Nettles was assaulted, carrying signs that read "Justice for Love."
Love is Tyneshia's middle name.
Detective Crolly says he feels for Tyneshia and her family and hopes to find a suspect with the public's help.
"Nothing justifies what happened to her," Sgt. Crolly said. "I think there is a group of people we're looking at that may have been responsible, but picking one person out of that group and making an arrest is difficult without any evidence or any kind of witness that can put that person there."
Nettles has a donation fund at Selco Community Credit Union listed under "Justice 4 Love" to help cover the cost of mounting medical bills.
Anyone with information about Nettles assault is asked to contact the Springfield Police Department. Detective Crolly says anonymous tips are welcome.