A woman who was brutally beaten in her apartment is expected to survive her injuries, according to police, but will likely require several surgeries to repair the damage inflicted by a man who used a metal bar, a computer monitor and a television to bash her skull.
“He lost it and threw everything but the kitchen sink at her,” Detective Sgt. Michael Keating said of the attack. “How she didn’t perish there just boggles my mind.”
According to a statement released by the department, Cody McCarthy attacked the 43-year-old woman on Sept. 15 while she was sleeping, and then held her hostage for weeks in her own apartment. Police were eventually called to the apartment Oct. 2 by a relative of the victim.
McCarthy, 25, had been living with the woman and her 21-year-old son for about a month, and is a family relative. He was staying in the apartment while he looked for work, police said.
Exactly what triggered the attack is not clear, said investigators, but McCarthy may have resented the woman for checking her son – McCarthy’s cousin – into a psychiatric facility. McCarthy is accused of using a metal baton to beat the woman as she slept. He then began smashing her head with other items in the home, including a computer monitor, a television set and an oscillating fan. McCarthy is also alleged to have used the woman’s bed sheets to try and strangle her.
Police did not release the identity of the victim.
Exacerbating the crime, said police, McCarthy then held the woman hostage in her own apartment for two weeks and denied her medical attention. For four of those days, authorities said, the woman lay on her bedroom floor in a pile of feces and vomit. The victim was finally able to reach her phone and contacted her sister, who notified police.
“It’s definitely not your typical case,” Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas said.
McCarthy has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, and Forest Park police said they anticipate an indictment in early November. Other charges related to the alleged restraint of the victim could be filed.
Investigators said that as far as they can tell, McCarthy does not have a criminal record.
When police initially responded to the address shortly before 6 p.m. on Oct. 2, investigators had no idea that the woman had been beaten so severely, according to a report filed by the officers who handled the call. The woman’s son had since been released from the psychiatric facility, but she had not told him of the alleged abuse, she later told police, fearful of how McCarthy might respond. Though the officers were told by McCarthy and the woman’s son that everything was normal, police insisted upon speaking with the woman and found her in a bedroom. The woman reportedly told the officers she wanted to leave the apartment, but made no mention of the beating she had endured.
“It should be noted that [the victim] has thick, long brown hair that hung straight down past her shoulders,” police said in their written account of the incident.
The following evening, on Oct. 3, the same officers were called to Elmhurst Hospital where the woman was being treated for her injuries. Her head had been shaved, police said in their report, and “large cuts and abrasions” covered her scalp. Several of the wounds appeared infected, there was visible bruising on her arms and hands and authorities saw a sizeable welt on the back of her neck.