Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Hope for Abigail; Family Tells of Her Remarkable Progress as Police Bring Dogs in to Hunt for Clues

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Hope for Abigail; Family Tells of Her Remarkable Progress as Police Bring Dogs in to Hunt for Clues

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT MENDICK;CHRIS MILLAR

THE FAMILY of Abigail Witchalls, left for dead after being attacked as she took her young son for a walk, today said she was "very positive" and "facing the future with hope".

Her family revealed the remarkable progress made by the young mother following the attack last month.

Mrs Witchalls was left paralysed after being stabbed in the back of the neck as she walked with son Joseph, 21 months, along a country lane.

The 26-year-old has amazed medical experts by reporting some sensation in her shoulders, arms and legs.

As a result of new information received, police today brought in specialist tracker dogs in the hunt for clues along the narrow path of Little Bookham, Surrey, where Mrs Wi t challs was stabbed on 20 April.

The prime suspect is Richard Cazaly, 23, who died shortly after the attack from a drugs overdose. The sniffer dogs were given items of clothing from both Mrs Witchall, Cazaly, and a second man - Terry Barnes - in the hope they can pick up scent trails or find the weapon used in the attack.

In a statement released today through the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, where Mrs Witchalls is being treated, her family thanked well-wishers from around the world.

Mrs Witchalls's husband Benoit, an engineer, and son Joseph are now "rebuilding... family routines"The statement, signed "Abigail and family", said: "We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for all the prayers, good wishes and gifts we have received. We have been quite overwhelmed.

"There have been thousands of letters, cards and gifts. We have received pictures and poems from whole classes of children, prayers from many, many churches, letters from Africa, Australia and America; inspiring stories of the fortitude of those who have overcome the problems of similar injuries to Abigail, and gifts and offers of help from friends, acquaintances and countless wellwishers. …

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