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Friend of girl assaulted optimistic of recovery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Family and friends of an 8-year-old girl who was attacked and sexually assaulted said she's getting better, but also said she has a long road to recovery.

The incident happened Monday in the woods near Eagle Point Apartments in Arlington. The little girl is still in the hospital.

Angela Laganelli, a friend of the girl's family, said she hopes in the coming weeks the 8-year-old will start giving police the information they need to catch whoever did this. Right now, the child's injuries are making it difficult for her to speak.

"She hasn't been able to talk about it at all. I feel in a little while that she'll be able to speak and talk about what happened," said Laganelli.

Laganelli says the child is strong, and has much support.

"She doesn't let anything get her down as a little girl," said Laganelli. "She's upbeat, has a great personality, and that's why she fought fought fought, that day, when those things happened to her."

Laganelli said the girl has been eating and drinking. She said the mother is also trying to stay strong during this difficult time.

Friday, JSO Chief Tom Hackney announced there was physical evidence in the case and asked the public to continue calling in tips.

Finances are a concern for the family, which is why Laganelli said she can't thank the community enough for all the donations. 

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