Woman stabbed at senior citizen apartment afraid to go home

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HARTFORD, Mich. (WOOD) – The woman stabbed during a middle-of-the-night home invasion in Hartford is recovering in the hospital but afraid to return to the home where she lived alone, her boyfriend says.

Charlotte Young, 61, was attacked after a perpetrator entered her home through an unlocked door at the McDowell Apartments off North Center Street north of Red Arrow Highway.

It was shortly before 4 a.m. when the victim says she awoke to the man standing over her, the victim’s boyfriend George Segelstrom said. He lives a few doors down from Young but heard nothing of the attack until it was over.

“I will tell you now – right on personal TV. He gets away – I’m looking,” Segelstrom told a swarm of news reporters Tuesday afternoon. “They better catch him, get him locked up and never let him out.”

Segelstrom said he visited with Young at the hospital Tuesday and that she was able to talk to him and recall what happened. He says she has six stab wounds. The knife blade broke off inside her during the incident.

After the attack the perpetrator took off. Through their investigation, Van Buren County Sheriff’s officials caught up with a 39-year-old man who lived nearby in another section of the apartment complex.

After conducting a search of the crime scene and the man’s home, they declared him a suspect in the case but did not release his identity. Police on scene would not disclose what evidence linked him to the crime.

Neighbors say the man in custody is a quiet, odd person who walked to get around town. One neighbor said he would refuse rides when offered and was often seen standing around staring into space.

Segelstrom said Young was afraid of the man and had called police about his odd behavior in the past.

“Far as I’m concerned, he is crazy,” Segelstrom said. “They just best keep him locked up, period – for the rest of his life.”

While Young was able to speak, Segelstrom says she is not out of the woods. Her injuries remain life threatening. He says he is thankful she survived the attack.

“I thank that man upstairs for that. Because if it was not for him she would not be here,” Segelstrom said. “I’m praying to God she makes it. God’d be the only one that can help her now.”

Sheriff’s officials say the suspect could make a first court appearance as soon as Wednesday. They were not immediately able to identify a motive for the stabbing and did not say whether anything was stolen from the victim’s apartment.

**Editor’s Note: Police on Wednesday told 24 Hour News 8 the suspect was 38-year-old, but he is actually 39-year-old according to court records.

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