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May 30, 2019

Wilmington woman recounts harrowing attack at Punta Cana resort

Majestic Resorts, owner of the Dominican Republic hotel, deactivated its Twitter and Facebook accounts Thursday in the wake of Tammy Lawrence-Daley's post

Investigations Beatings
Tammy Lawrence-Daley Tammy Lawrence-Daley/Facebook

Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, of Wilmington, was severely injured in an assault while vacationing in the Dominican Republic in late January. She's now warning women to take extra precaution when traveling.

A Wilmington woman who says survived a vicious attack at a resort in the Dominican Republic earlier this year is speaking out as a warning to others. 

Majestic Elegance, the all-inclusive Punta Cana resort owned by Majestic Resorts, shut down its Facebook and Twitter pages on Thursday afternoon. The resort's management suddenly came under intense scrutiny as people reacted to a Facebook post by the victim, Tammy Lawrence-Daley, who described the beating she endured and shared gruesome photos of her injuries.

Lawrence-Daley, 51, took to Facebook on Wednesday to tell what she says occurred during her stay at the Majestic Elegance resort. She and her husband, Chris Daley, had joined another couple for a vacation in late January.

(Shortly after publishing this article Thursday evening, the sharing settings for Lawrence-Daley's Facebook post were changed. Below is a screenshot of the post, including a portion of the message that accompanied it. At the end of this article is an image showing her entire Facebook post.)

tammy lawrence daley facebook postScreen capture/Facebook

Tammy Lawrence-Daley on Wednesday posted the details of an attack she says occurred earlier this year while on vacation at the Majestic Elegance resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. By Thursday, Lawrence-Daley's story and the gruesome photos of her injuries had spread across the internet.

At the end of the first night there, Lawrence-Daley describes venturing downstairs in the hotel to get a snack and take pictures of the moonlight. What happened next left her fearful that she wouldn't make it home alive:

As I went through the rotunda between buildings, I noticed there wasn’t anyone in the hallway. Not majorly odd, but still eerily quiet. I took about 10 or so steps just swinging my wristlet back and forth, not a care in the world. That's when I heard it. Heavy footsteps ... one, two, three, four, then they sped up, and then before I could react I was plowed into from behind and immediately immobilized. His arms wrapped around me and he started pulling me immediately into an unlocked maintenance room...

Lawrence-Daley says she was mercilessly beaten and strangled by a man she believes was wearing a Majestic Elegance staff uniform. She lost consciousness several times during the attack and eventually was dragged into an area she described as a "hole," where she remained for eight hours. Resort staff found her the following morning after hearing her screams. 

Multiple news organizations have picked up on Lawrence-Daley's story during the past 24 hours. The New York PostNew York Daily News, Fox News, People and local stations 6ABC and CBS3 all have reported on the incident. Lawrence-Daley granted interviews to 6ABC, CBS3, the New York Post and People.

Dozens of news sites had written about Lawrence-Daley's beating by Thursday, but none have been able to obtain any official statement from Majestic Elegance, parent company Majestic Resorts, or Punta Cana authorities.

Why the resort has refused to provide any response or comment, as of Thursday evening, remains shrouded in mystery. Lawrence-Daley went on to describe the nightmare that followed her attack: 

I spent 5 days in the medical clinic (an offsite hospital) and had surgery to repair my injuries. I am still dealing with several issues, including nerve damage, as well as, all of the medical expenses since being home. Majestic Elegance claims no responsibility for the attack since I couldn't identify the attacker (even though he was wearing a uniform WITH the resort logo and hit me directly in front of the unlocked maintenance room and dragged me down concrete stairs to a basement so that no one could hear or find me.) Police did find evidence of the blood smeared mop handle and a maintenance hat in the area I was found, but this means nothing in these countries.

Four months later, Lawrence-Daley's attacker still has not been identified. She says she hasn't received any refund from Majestic Elegance or assistance with her medical expenses. Her attempts to pursue litigation haven't gone anywhere, she said in her Facebook post.

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department told the New York Post they are aware of the case and are following it "very closely." 

CBS3 reported they had reached out to multiple managers at Majestic Elegance, and the one who responded to the TV station said that Majestic Elegance was not aware of the case.

CBS3 also spoke with the woman's husband,  Christopher Lawrence-Daley, who told the station, “When we first found her at the infirmary, it was unreal. I just lost control."

Lawrence-Daley believes her attacker thought she was dead. 

"He is still out there, a predator, waiting for his next victim," she wrote on Facebook. "Only the next woman may not be so fortunate. Please, please do not walk alone. These attacks are happening too frequently and the criminals are NOT being prosecuted even though evidence is found."

And the Wilmington woman offered this advice: "When you are in unfamiliar places, or even in familiar places, please remember … be smart, be safe."

Punta Cana attack facebookScreen capture/Facebook

Tammy Lawrence-Daley was attacked at a Punta Cana resort.