Family Praying for Answers, Recovery in Kaufman County Elderly Attack

The family of a 78-year-old Kaufman County woman who was robbed, tied up and nearly burned to death in her own home say the next 24 hours are crucial for her survival.

Carla Cullum says her mother's recovery since the October 15 attack has been a rollercoaster.

"It's been hard to see your mom fighting for her life. Because that's what she's doing up there is fighting for her life," said Carla Cullum.

Her mother, Peggy, spent nearly a dozen days in Parkland Hospital's burn unit before graduating to a rehabilitation center. Just a few hours later, she was being rushed back to the ICU.

Doctors say her lungs and heart are struggling to recover from all of the smoke she inhaled.

Meanwhile, detectives have told the family there are no leads as to who's responsible.

The Kaufman County Sheriff's Office along with Texas Rangers are searching for the woman Peggy says knocked on her door on FM 148 near Crandall just after 9:30 a.m. on October 15.

She told detectives the woman was carrying a pistol when she pushed Peggy back into the home, demanded money and tied her to a chair with the cord from a box fan. She then set a fire in the kitchen leaving Peggy for dead.

Cullum says a neighbor noticed the flames, called 911 and flagged down a good Samaritan. That man was able to pull Peggy from the home with the help of a Crandall firefighter.

Once stable, Peggy was able to help detectives create a sketch of the suspect who's been described as a heavy-set woman with strawberry hair. She was wearing a black hoodie and gold rimmed glasses during the attack.

She's wanted for attempted capital murder, robbery and arson.

Though Peggy and her two daughters don't recognize the suspect, they're hoping someone will.

"That's the only way this case is going to be solved if someone speaks up. Even if it was something that someone doesn't think is important, it might be that one clue they need to break this case," said Cullum.

After rummaging through the house, the suspect made off with just Peggy's purse which had her phone and a wallet with credit cards and a little cash. Cullum says they can't think of any other reason or motive for the attack.

"We think if this person has done this to this elderly person and they get away with it, they will strike again and hurt someone else," said Cullum.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for Peggy's medical bills.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Investigator Weisbruch at 972-932-9735 or Texas Ranger Matlock at 214-861-2370. Anonymous tips can be made at 877-TIPSKCC.

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