Dog Follows 'Tiny Pinpricks of Blood' to Woman Allegedly Chained Up in Neighbor's Basement
A savvy bloodhound named Flash was able to follow a trail of blood and lead police to the suspect's house
A Buffalo woman who was allegedly assaulted, kidnapped and chained in a basement by a neighbor was found alive Monday — with the assistance of a bloodhound.
The woman, who has not been identified, was allegedly attacked Sunday by 25-year-old Michael Ciskiewic.
He faces charges of kidnapping, burglary, rape, assault and menacing with a weapon. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail, his defense attorney Dominic Saraceno tells PEOPLE.
Police said the victim, who has since been released from the hospital, didn’t know Ciskiewic but had seen him around the neighborhood doing lawn work, WIVB reports.
“We were able to get a really bad guy off the street and the victim is going to be OK,” Niagara Falls Police Department Chief of Detectives Kelly Rizzo said at a press conference Monday, according to WKBW.
Ciskiewic allegedly knocked on the victim’s door around 1 a.m. Sunday and attacked her.
The Niagara Gazette said a neighbor attempted to intervene, but was threatened by Ciskiewic.
Police were called but by the time officers arrived, Ciskiewic had allegedly dragged the woman back to his home where he chained her ankles and taped her wrists, according to WIVB.
After police found a trail of blood that led from her home to an alley before ending, they called Donny Booth — a member of the city’s animal control unit and crisis negotiations team — and his bloodhound Flash.
Booth told the Gazette that Flash followed “little tiny pin-pricks of blood” to Ciskiewic’s home, about a block away.
At the home, police found blood near a broken window and heard a woman screaming, WIVB reports.
“I’m glad [we] were able to save the girl when we did,” Booth said, according to the Gazette. “Who knows what could have happened.”
Ciskiewic, who had fled his residence, was found the following day in a field in an industrial area, WKBW reports.
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Saraceno says Ciskiewic had been diagnosed with schizophrenia at an early age.
“He has been in an out of the inadequate mental health system for years,” he tells PEOPLE. “It should be a wakeup call to law makers. We can’t continue to ignore this mental health crisis that is plaguing our society. They aren’t being treated, properly medicated or supervised. The system has failed him.”
Saraceno says Ciskiewic worked odd jobs, shoveling snow and cutting grass, and lived in a house his dad owned.