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NJ woman survives a home invasion where she was brutally stabbed by a young stranger

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Despite losing three-quarters of her body’s blood, Donna Ongsiako was able to help the police find the man who almost took her life.

On July 7, 2013, shortly after midnight, Donna Ongsiako was rushed to the hospital. He was stabbed repeatedly in a violent home invasion. He was in surgery for more than seven hours, but he survived.

“I lost about three-quarters of my body’s blood,” Wongsiako told “48 Hours.” “I have no earthly reason to live.”

A scratching sound


CBS News

Wongsiako said that before she was attacked, she had just gone to bed for the evening. When she went to sleep, she heard her cat scratching at the door.

He went down to let the cat inside.

A stranger with a knife

Wongxiako crime scene

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Instead of her cat, when she opened the door, Wongsiako says she saw a stranger on her porch. He had a knife and was trying to cut his window curtain.

Pushed his way in

Wongxiako crime scene

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

When Wongsiako tried to close the door, the intruder stuck the knife through the opening and cut her finger. He pushed her towards her house and started beating her. After she fell to the ground, Wongxiako said she asked for her car keys and a lighter.

stolen property

Ongxiako evidence

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Wongsiako said she told the intruder her keys and lighter were on the kitchen table. She took them along with her entire purse. After stabbing Angsiako one last time in the chest, he walked out the door.

Alone in the flower farm

Wongxiako crime scene

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Wongsiako’s home was on the edge of a flower farm in Colts Neck, NJ, with no neighbors within earshot.

home alone

Donna and Kiersten Ongsiako

Kiersten Ongsiako

Ongsiako lived with her adult daughter Kiersten. But he was home alone on the night of the attack. His daughter was out at a party.

Ongsiako knew his survival depended on reaching his cellphone that was charging.

Call 911

Wongxiako crime scene

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Wongsiako said the thought of finding Kiersten dead motivated him to climb the stairs despite his serious injuries. She called 911 and was able to give a detailed description of her attacker before briefly losing consciousness.

Wongsiako told police he had long, blond, curly hair and a backpack and looked about 17 years old.

A tip from Taco Bell

Suspect surveillance video

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office/Surveillance Video

Shortly after Wongsiako called 911, police received a call from a fast-food restaurant five miles from her home. Employees found a young, blond man with a backpack. They said he was walking through their drive-thru, banging on windows and carrying a knife.

An abandoned vehicle

Evidence of Ongxiako crime

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

While searching for the young man who was seen at Taco Bell, police found Wongsiako’s stolen car. It was dug behind a movie theater in the same shopping center as the fast-food restaurant. The car lights were on, and still on.

important DNA

Evidence of Ongxiako crime

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Detectives said the car will be important in the investigation. There was blood all over, and they hoped to find their suspect’s DNA.

A police sketch

Wongxiako Suspect Sketch

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Within two days, a customer who saw the young man at Taco Bell met a police sketch artist. After a few tweaks, Wongsiako said the sketch looked like the man who stabbed him. The sketch was soon plastered all over Monmouth County.

More security footage

Wongxiako Suspect Surveillance Video

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Investigators reviewed cameras at stores in the shopping center near Taco Bell to see if they would get lucky and find their suspect. Their suspect was caught again on security footage, this time walking outside a Verizon store.

An important tip


NJ Department of Corrections

Just eight days after Donna’s attack, shortly after the police sketch began airing, Monmouth County Detective Andrea Tozzi received an important tip.

The tipster pointed investigators to 16-year-old Brennan Doyle and said Doyle fit the description of a sketch of the suspect that had been around town. And according to the tipster, Doyle — who usually has long skater-style hair — recently cut her hair much shorter, as seen in this photo.

A suspect who lived nearby

The.  Andrea Tozzi and Jim Axelrod

CBS News

Kishore and his family lived just up the street from Ongsioko’s house. Detectives went to Doyle’s home in late July. Detective Tozzi, pictured with “48 Hours” contributor Jim Axelrod, said he wanted to see if Doyle had cut his hair.

A DNA match


Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

The investigation lasted through the summer of 2013. Brennan Doyle remains the only suspect.

Detective Tozzi said in September, investigators obtained a warrant to obtain Doyle’s DNA. Ultimately, the results showed that Doyle’s DNA matched the unknown DNA found in Wongxiako’s car.

A knife on top of the strip mall

Evidence of Ongxiako crime

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

In early October, police received a call that a knife had been found on the roof of a bowling alley in the same strip mall where Wongsiako’s car had fallen into the ditch. Repairmen were servicing an air conditioning unit when they found it.

Investigators then obtained a search warrant for Doyle’s home. They found a similar knife from the same set.

an arrest

Evidence of Ongxiako crime

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

In late October 2013, Brennan Doyle was arrested. There are six charges against him, including attempted murder and carjacking. Doyle’s keys are seen here from Donna Wongsiako’s purse

A plea and sentence

Monmouth County Courthouse

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

According to the investigative report, Doyle claimed that on the night of Wongsiako’s attack, he was under the influence of hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms.

In August 2015, Doyle agreed to a plea deal pleading guilty to carjacking and attempted murder. The prosecution dropped the rest of the charges.

In October, Doyle was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

A survival journey

Surviving a violent crime

Dana Richards

Even without Doyle on the road, Ongsiako, pictured right, was still fighting. She found PTSD and domestic violence support groups but said there were none for victims of random attacks. So, in 2015, he decided to create his own: Survivor of Violent Crime.

recognized for his work

Evidence of Ongxiako crime

Tom Zapsik

In July 2019, Ongsiako’s local community honored her for her work with Survivors of Violent Crimes. He is pleased that he can help others rebuild their lives as he continues to rebuild his.

Sharing his story

Ongsiako woman

CBS News

Wongsiako says his work is not done. She has more plans for her support group, including connecting victims with trauma therapists and offering self-defense classes.

He is also educating others. He tours prisons, meets inmates and addresses police cadets to understand the victim’s perspective.

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