‘We miss him greatly. I forgive him’: Spokane Valley stabbing victim forgives estranged husband
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — The Spokane Valley woman stabbed by her estranged husband in April spoke to the public for the first time since the incident on Thursday.
Missy Robertson was stabbed repeatedly by Justin Robertson on April 23. Justin then kidnapped their 5-year-old son, prompting an AMBER Alert across Eastern Washington, before ultimately releasing the young boy to authorities and taking his own life.
Missy recounted the terrifying moments that led up the stabbing; she said Justin tied her up with a cell phone cable and there were many physical alteractions between them. Missy said she suffered 62 knife marks, including 16 that had to be stitched at the hospital, a punctured lung and punctured tendons in her arm.
“It wasn’t until, of course, the knife started making contact and stuff that then, of course, I realized how real it was,” Missy said.
At a press conference Thursday, Missy credited her ADT panic alarm for saving her life. She said she made sure to stay in front of her ADT camera and placed her panic alarm key fob in her purse. Justin moved the camera, Missy said, but she was able to set the alarm off from the key fob when he wasn’t looking.
“That was my one and only connection to the outside world at that point, so, it was dire,” she said. “Once I was able to get to the key fob, that was… that was my saving grace, literally.”
Once the panic alarm was triggered, an ADT dispatcher called Missy’s home. Missy said Justin answered and pretended to be her. He was unable to give a passcode when the dispatcher asked and then hung up.
“He did not know how I had done it and then of course I didn’t know that my phone was in his pocket,” Missy remembered. “The phone rang, he answered the call. I knew they were going to ask him for the passcode and I knew he wasn’t going to have it.”
The dispatcher, Sue Phommanirat, then called 911 and first responders went to the home where they found Missy screaming for help.
On Thursday, Missy got to meet the dispatcher that she said saved her life. Sue works at the ADT hub in Rochester, New York and flew over 2,000 miles to meet Missy.
“It was very emotional and I’m glad I came out here and got to meet her,” Sue said. “Makes me appreciate my job a lot more. You know, I feel honored and proud to work for a company that can be able to make a difference in everyone’s lives.”
ADT honored Phommanirat and presented checks to the Spokane Valley Fire Department, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Missy said Justin had been suffering from mental illness for several years.
“He had been suffering from depression for about three years, that he kept inside, he hadn’t told anyone,” Missy said. “He had been suicidal for about a year before we found out he felt that way. He was getting help and treatment.”
Missy said Justin was saying things and acting in ways that were not normal for him, so she took steps to safeguard herself and her children. One of those steps was getting her panic alarm.
“It’s unfortunate, we miss him greatly,” Missy said. “I forgive him.”
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