What Saved Girl, 12, Stabbed in Woods: “I Wanted to Live”

Family says girl is excited to be out of the hospital and see her pets

A 12-year-old Wisconsin girl headed home from the hospital Friday, almost a week after she was brutally stabbed in the woods and managed to crawl to safety, fueled by a powerful will to survive.

Police say two friends, also 12, lured the girl into the woods Saturday, where one held her down while the other stabbed her 19 times, apparently inspired by the fictional internet character Slender Man. The victim managed to crawl to a road where a bicyclist found her.

The victim's family said in a statement Friday, just after the girl was released from Waukesha Memorial Hospital, that she was excited to return to her family and pets and to begin her recovery.

"While we have kept discussions about the events of May 31, 2014 with her short, we did ask how she found the strength to crawl out of the woods," it added. "Her response was simple: 'I wanted to live.'"

Both suspects in the stabbing face adult charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, as a party to a crime. If convicted, they could each serve 65 years in prison.

A criminal complaint charging the girls says they were trying to pay tribute to the fictional character Slender Man when they committed the crime. The complaint says the girls believed the character was real.

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