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Pregnant woman 'traumatized' after claiming to be stabbed; investigators say ‘it did not happen at all’

Pregnant Marisa Zavala Park Township Ottawa County Stabbing During Home Invasion
Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 09:03:18-04

UPDATE: Investigators have determined this case did not occur as described. Marisa Zavala is now working her way through the court system.

A pregnant 22-year-old Ottawa County woman is still in shock after she was stabbed by a home intruder she didn't recognize. She, and law enforcement, do not believe it was a random attack.

“This is my home," Marisa Zavala told FOX 17 Tuesday. "This is my safe place. I didn’t think anything like this would happen.”

Inside her own home, on a quiet stretch of road in Ottawa County's Park Township, is where Zavala feels most protected. On Monday, though, that feeling of safety was stripped away.

“Every time I did fall asleep, it’s like that’s all I could see in my dreams and stuff," said Zavala. "I’m just really scared.”

Zavala said it was any normal day to start. She left the house to grab some groceries, then came back around 7 p.m.

She put her 1-year-old son to sleep on the couch. That's when she heard noises coming from her bedroom.

RELATED: Deputies: Woman stabbed during home invasion near Holland

“I didn’t think nothing of it," she said. "So, I went to go check. As soon as I walked in there, I saw somebody I didn’t know."

That stranger, who was dressed in all black, told Zavala to back up. She listened, but she said he still came at her.

Zavala said she ran to the kitchen to grab the first thing she could find, which was a Coke bottle. She threw it, but the man picked it up and started hitting her with it.

Then, she scrambled to her purse to pull out a pocket knife.

“I was going to use that," said Zavala. "He came for me and took it out of my hands, hit it on the ground, picked it up and then started using it against me.”

Zavala said he stabbed her in the stomach before running out of the house.

Zavala was left in shock, sitting on her kitchen floor with a knife in her body.

When she finally realized what happened, she called 911.

“I could barely talk when they answered the phone," said Zavala. "It’s like a scene out of a movie, it felt like.”

At that moment, Zavala could only think about one thing — her unborn daughter, on the other end of that knife.

“The fact that he was coming for my stomach, specifically where my baby is, makes me feel like they were going for my baby," said Zavala. "They wanted to get rid of my baby. I’m not sure. I just feel really scared, you know.”

Zavala only suffered minor injuries, and didn't require stitches from this attack. Still, it's the emotional scars that will stick with her. She isn't the only one who feels she may have been a target.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office believes that might be the case too.

“We find that very rarely are these types of crimes random," Captain Jake Sparks told FOX 17. "So, we’re looking into that as well. If this was somebody that was an acquaintance of somebody that the victim may have known, we look into all those things as well.”

Deputies are still looking for the person responsible. We're told, on scene, they tried using a K9 unit to track the suspect, with no luck.

Zavala said she hopes they find him soon, so she can call her home a safe place once again.

“What’s done in the dark comes to light," said Zavala. "He’s going to eventually be found and get the consequences he deserves.”

Zavala told FOX 17 she's 20 weeks pregnant with a baby girl.

When FOX 17 spoke with Zavala early Tuesday afternoon, she was about to leave for an appointment to see if her baby is okay. She wasn't sure at that point, but said, before getting released from the hospital, she was told everything seems to look all right.

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