BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Cari Anderson, a sexual assault survivor who captivated the community three years ago, died Sunday at age 63.
Anderson suffered an injury after a fall last month and never recovered.
She was raped when she was 40 years old and struggled to survive after the brutal attack left her with a traumatic head injury. For the rest of her life, she struggled to recall the events of that night, to remember the faces of the man or men who raped and left her for dead. Her case went cold for decades, but an arrest was finally made in June. The attack left Anderson with devastating physical disabilities.
In 2018, Former KGET reporter Olivia LaVoice followed Cari’s story and profiled her daily struggles since the attack. After the story aired, hundreds of people in our community rushed to help Anderson. In a display of generosity common to our community, people came together to refurbish Anderson’s home.
People also prayed for her — hoping the man who was responsible for raping and leaving her for dead would be arrested. Twenty-three years later, new technology led investigators to the arrest of Michael Allen Fontes, 47.
Although LaVoice left KGET in 2019 and moved to Seattle, she stayed in contact with Anderson — creating a lifelong bond.