Woman Was Allegedly Stabbed and Set on Fire by Husband as Children Watched — and Was Saved by Good Samaritans

Zachary Mowel faces multiple charges after allegedly attacking his wife, Tess Trotter

<p>Tessa Mowel/Instagram</p> Tessa Trotter

Tessa Mowel/Instagram

Tessa Trotter

Authorities in Tennessee say a husband stabbed his wife and set her on fire, but the woman's life was saved by Good Samaritans, according to her family.

A press release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation alleges that Zachary Mowel, 28, attacked his wife on the evening of July 1.

Authorities responding to the scene found a woman suffering from multiple stab wounds and transported her to the hospital. Mowel was subsequently arrested by TBI agents on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated arson, aggravated assault (domestic-related) and domestic assault.

It’s not immediately clear if Mowel has entered pleas to the charges or retained an attorney.

The victim has subsequently been identified by her family as Tess Trotter. Her sister Tori Trotter wrote on a GoFundMe page launched to offset medical bills that the attack occurred in front of the couple’s young children, who were “watching and pleading” for the assailant to stop.

The victim’s mom, Tina Trotter, told WSMV that two people happened upon the house fire while in the area looking into an item they had seen on Facebook Marketplace. According to the mother, the pair put out the fire that had engulfed Tessa, saving her life.

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“God bless you, and I will reach out to you once my family finds out who you are,” Tina told the outlet. “Our family is so grateful for y’all because I wouldn’t have her today.”

According to police documents filed in court and cited by WKRN, Mowel approached an officer who had responded to the scene and said, “I did it. It was me.”

The GoFundMe page states that Tessa was paralyzed from the waist down and sustained third-degree burns as a result of the attack. All of her ribs were broken, and she had nine stab wounds, according to the page.

“Tessa is the strongest person I know,” her sister wrote on the page, “and [she] and her boys did not deserve this torture!”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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