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Woman violently attacked by Craigslist roomate

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Posted at 10:08 AM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 10:14:28-05

A young Miami woman is fighting to survive after her family said she was violently attacked by her roommate earlier this week.

"I'm still in shock, I can't comprehend that someone can do this to someone, mutilate them in such a way and try to kill them," said Aimee Nikolove, victim's mother.

Young, vibrant and independent. That's how family and friends describe Danielle Jones. The 23-year-old was working with a catering company and living in a Downtown Miami apartment, when she found a roommate on Craigslist two weeks ago.

A week after 35-year-old Byron Mitchell moved in, the family said he attacked Jones on her 23rd birthday. They said she was strangled and cut up.

"My daughter's face is cut up like he was going to take her face off. She has a brain injury, no one knows what the prognosis is," Nikolove said.

"She has scars everywhere, around her eyes, lips. She has slashes all down her head," explained Kaitlin Cabot, victim's cousin.

Mitchell claimed self defense. He told police Jones came after him with a knife. The cuts to her face and head injuries suggest otherwise. Police arrested Mitchell for attempted murder. It's unclear whether he's hired an attorney.

Jones has been in a coma since Sunday's attack. The family hopes others can learn from this.

"Bringing attention to this and raise some type of awareness for other people to be careful because I can't explain in words how hard it is to see her like this," Cabot expressed.

"We hold on to hope. It's in God's hands, but it's day six and she hasn't woken up," Nikolove said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for Jones' medical expenses.

Story from our newspartners NBC6.com