Amy's Fight

WAPATO, WA - The simple pleasures that most of us enjoy, like watching the rain fall on a gloomy day, Amy now vows to never take for granted.

"Before, I'd be like ‘oh my goodness it's cloudy outside, or I don't want to get up.’ But now, 'oh my God it's cloudy outside and it's beautiful," she said.

It was June 6, 2016.

"I just had this inclination… I just knew something wasn't right," she said.

Amy was found naked and with a gunshot wound to her head near a pond in Wapato.

“I knew if I didn't get through it then nobody would ever find me, and that I'd be just another lost, murdered woman in Yakima valley."

The story of how Amy got there started five days earlier, when she said she heard something that she was never supposed to.

The next day, three men kidnapped her off the street. They first took her to a house.

"I just remember all of the sudden--just screaming a blood hurdling scream that I had never screamed before," she said.

A bag of cement was swung at her head.

"I could hear my teeth chip--like chipping, and I could taste blood in my mouth and it was awful,” she said.

But her captors weren't done with her.

Court documents say Freddy Razo, along with Daniel James Perez Junior and Brandon Honeycutt put a gun to the back of her head and forced her into a car.

“I was just touching anything and everything, hoping that if, for some reason, that I could leave any evidence that I was in the car," Amy said.

She said she even tried calling 911 with a phone she found on the floor. Her kidnappers saw and hung up.

They drove her to Wapato, and through a drainage tunnel underneath Interstate 82. Razo and Perez dragged her out of the car, down an embankment, then shot her in the back of the head. She stayed there for five days.

“They were like, 'is she dead? Is she dead?' and poking at me and kicking me with their feet and I just remember holding my breath,” Amy said. "I'm pretty sure I was about ready to die,” she said.

She bargained with God. She hallucinated.

“All of the sudden my grandfather, who was very close to me, started talking to me...I was like, 'Grandpa, I can't do this. I'm so tired. I can't do this anymore,’ and he goes, 'You can do this. You can honey,'” she recalled.

She desperately threw rocks. She hollered. Then, a fisherman finally heard her screams.

They rushed her to the hospital. She was in multiple ones for five months.

"They actually told me that maggots helped save my life and keep me alive because they only eat dead flesh and they cauterized the wounds so I didn't bleed to death," she said.

Surgeons put a titanium plate in the back of her head, and used skin from her thigh to cover it. She was left legally blind.

"When I was getting ready to leave the hospital, I had to get some testing done…the nurse came and she looked at the board and she said, 'Amy?' and I'm like, 'Yeah?' she's like, 'Oh my God!' she's like, 'Hold on, hold on,’” she said.

“And then all the sudden all these people came rushing into my room and she's like, 'Look at her! Look at her! She's here!'…she's like, 'We prayed and prayed for you cause when you were brought in you looked so bad and so awful that we didn't think you were going to make it...and here you are, look at you!’" Amy said.

This brings Amy to now.

"It might have changed my life, but it didn't end my life," she said.

For that, she’s grateful. She now counts every rain drop.

"I did survive. And I am here today and I did change my life. And it might not be the life that I intended for it to be, but it's my life," she said.

Brandon Honeycutt pleaded guilty in Yakima County to second degree assault last year. He was sentenced to serve 21 months in return for his testimony against Freddy Razo, according to Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney, Joseph Brusic.

Daniel Perez Jr. entered an Alford plea in 2018 to kidnapping and first degree assault. He was sentenced to serve 17 years.

Freddy Munoz-Razo went to trial in 2018. A jury convicted him of first degree murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced to serve over 41 years. Razo is currently on direct right of appeal and maintains he was not involved with the crime, Brusic said.

At some point or another in our lives, like Amy, we all need to fight our bad guys. Everyone gets their courage from different places. Amy got hers from a TV show—Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

She was in court one time throughout this, and during that time, she hid a picture of Mariska Hargitay inside her shirt while she testified against Freddy Razo.

“She's given me strength and courage just from her character and I actually used a quote of hers when I did my testimony in court,” Amy said. “I did what I had to do to survive,” she quoted.

She still keeps the picture with her everywhere she goes. Mariska Hargitay's foundation is called Joyful Heart.

It's dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

To learn more about resources for survivors, or to get involved, you can visit the foundation’s website here.