PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - The family of a woman brutally beaten on the Silver Comet Trail earlier this week returned to the walking trail Saturday to walk in her honor.
Tina Waddell, 42, is in a Cobb County hospital waiting to have surgery. A cyclist found Waddell brutally beaten Tuesday on the side of the trail. Police are still searching for the person responsible.
“Her head was swollen, you could barely see her eyes, I tried to shoo the yellowjackets off of her face and just talk to her and try to keep her breathing. Someone must have had so much hatred and the bare hands won't do something like that," said Peter Skott, the cyclist who found her.
Waddell’s family says they walked the trail Saturday to finish the walk she wasn't able to complete and to “take back the trail for Tina.”
During Saturday’s walk the trail was the busiest it’s been in days. Dozens of people showed up to run, walk and bike for Tina and for the people who have been too frightened to go to the trail since her attack.
Waddell’s brother-in-law, Joey Waddell, helped organize the walk.
“People were saying they were scared to go down there,” said Joey Waddell. “Please don't be scared to go down there. Be smart, but please don't be scared.”
Even though the person who attacked Tina Waddell is still out there, those who live near the trail and often use it say they won't be afraid anymore.
“We're not going to be scared to walk this trail,” said Tina’s husband, Jim Waddell. “This is where we live and we're gonna find this guy.”
Donation jars were also passed around to raise money for a reward for information on Tina Waddell’s attacker.
Even people who don't know Tina went to the trail wanting to help.
“I saw through Facebook that they're doing this walk and it just touched my heart,” said Debbie Larson, an avid runner. “I feel sad for this family, and just (wanted to) come out and support. Nothing like this should happen to somebody.”
Skott said he flew back in Saturday just to be at the walk.
“I wanted to see the family and eventually, hope to talk to her under better circumstances," he said.
Tina Waddell's family has set up a fund at any SunTrust branch to raise money for medical expenses and a reward for information. The fund is called "Take Back the Trail for Tina."