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January 11th was just a regular night for Brittney. She had picked up her sons from Will Rogers Elementary and then drove to Sherman Oaks, where their haircuts were cheaper. The family arrived home, and the boys did homework while Brittney cooked dinner. Just like every night. Then there was washing dishes, stories, baths, and bed.
After her boys were asleep, Brittney remembered she had to make a phone call, but didn't want to wake them. The small apartment was home, but didn't offer much privacy. So Brittney decided to go out to her car to make her call. The old Jeep Wrangler was parked right outside of her home. It was unlocked, as always.
Because, Brittney said, there was nothing in there worth stealing.
The next thing she remembers is waking up in a panic, in a closed metal tube. Confusion, and claustrophobia set in. Where was she? Why? And why does everything hurt so much? Slowly she learned she was getting a CT Scan at UCLA.
She had been taken to the ER, beaten to a pulp.
Her eye socket were fractured, her nose was broken, her jaw dislocated, and several teeth were missing. She had been found in the wreckage of her car, on 17th and Olympic. Her face was smashed up against the window in the passenger seat, her hair tangled in the window.
And she had no idea how it happened.
She remembers nothing of her abduction, or the vicious attack. Or how her car was smashed. Or who was driving. Why did they beat her? Why did they take her? When the Police found her, they say she was calling out for her Mother. They also said there was a witness. A witness she hadn't learned about until yesterday, nearly a month later, as she read her Police report.
She had called, she had waited for it, and now it was in her hands. She had hoped it would shed some light on what happened. What had Forensics uncovered? Did they find any evidence in the car, any DNA? What did the witness say? Where was the investigation headed?
Did they have any idea on who could have done such a terrible thing to her, and why? But there were no answers in the report. Instead, there were suspicions about her, under thinly veiled accusations that she knew her abductor, but refused to name him. And that she wouldn't cooperate to even give a description.
But she can't remember. Nothing. Head trauma will do that. Police interviewed her long-time boyfriend, and cleared him. They also interviewed her ex, the father of her children. He lives in Atlanta, and was there at the time. There are no other men in her life.
And still she is in pain.
Still her eyes are black. Still her nose is misshapen. Worst of all, her fractured jaw is still dislocated. Between that, and having so many teeth knocked out, she can barely eat, and has lost a lot of weight off her already thin frame. She has been shuffled from doctor to doctor to doctor.
This one can't help her, that one won't take her insurance. Her car is totaled, so all the false appointments are done on foot or by bus.
So who will help her? Will we? And why have we heard nothing of this story that happened to one of our own --a Mother, a resident of the Pico Neighborhood. Even darker--where is the person who beat her? Had they been watching her, targeting her? Are they still lurking in the shadows, waiting to claim their next victim? By Janet McLaughlin

Brittney needs immediate funds for reconstructive surgery and extensive dental work. She currently has Medicaid and has been sent around for almost a month throughout greater Los Angeles to medical professionals that have taken no action to address her broken nose, jaw, missing teeth or damaged eye socket. She will need funds to care for her children while she is healing from the surgeries as well. She is not able to work at this time and does not have family that can provide her for financial support. Please give generously and feel free to call or email me with any questions. [email redacted] [phone redacted]


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Esther Hickman
Santa Monica, CA

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