"Find Help, Run": Woman set on fire shares message for abused women


*WARNING - We want to warn you, what you are about to see in the video above could be difficult for many of our viewers*

Family photographs show Judy Malinowski's life as a daughter, a sister, and a mother. A former pageant winner crowned for her beauty inside, and out.

"One of the reasons she was Miss New Albany, I always said, yes she's beautiful, she's my daughter," said her mother, Bonnie Bowes. "But her personality is truly why New Albany said, 'Yeah, she should represent us.'"

Everything about her life changed on August 2, 2015. Police say Michael Slager doused Judy with gasoline and lit her on fire.

Witness accounts read like something from a horror movie- "she was completely on fire," "staggering around in the grass."

"I got a call from OSU [hospital]," said Bonnie. "It was a doctor, and they say, 'We have your daughter in the trauma bay. She's been badly hurt.'"

It would be hours before Bonnie would learn how severely her daughter had been hurt.

"I remember screaming, 'Tell me there's hope! Tell me there's hope.' Because they wouldn't let me see her. And I remember thinking- I could not say the word- tell me she's not dead."

Judy was not dead but had suffered horrific injuries. Doctors warned Bonnie she would not recognize her own daughter.

"They were right. It just didn't even look like a human being," Bonnie said. "(But) all I could see was my baby in that bed. All I could see was that she was alive."

That was only the beginning of Judy's fight. She would endure approximately 50 surgeries, multiple codes where doctors would have to bring her back to life, and 8 months unconscious.

Burns to her airway prevent her from speaking audibly, but she has grown adept at communicating without sound.

Glenn McEntyre: Is today a good day?
(Judy nods yes)
Glenn: Tell me why today is a good day.
Judy mouths: I don't hurt as bad. It's light outside.
Glenn: It's light outside?
(Judy nods yes)
Glenn: So the sun comes up, and you don't hurt as bad, that's a good day?
(Judy nods yes)
Glenn: Judy how do you describe what you've been through?
Judy mouths- "Horrible. No human being should ever have to go through that. Nothing that breathes should ever have to endure the pain of being set on fire.
Glenn: Why do you want to talk to us today?
Judy mouths: Because I want to tell people how horrible something like this can be. And if you're in an abusive relationship, find help, and get out completely. Run the other way. Run.

In a letter to 10TV, Michael Slager maintains the fire was an accident. He says he was trying to light a cigarette when Judy caught fire.

Investigators say security cameras show Slager dousing her in fuel, and then lighting her on fire.

PART 2: Woman set on fire: "I want to fight" to live

PART 3: Woman set on fire: Attacker's punishment doesn't fit crime

To help Judy's family with the care of her daughters: https://www.gofundme.com/hope-and-help-for-judy

If you are in an abusive situation, in Columbus, call (614-224-4663).

Resources on what is domestic violence, warning signs, how to stay safe and more: www.choicescolumbus.org.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 http://www.thehotline.org/