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‘He told me…he’s going to kill me:’ Portage murder attempt survivor speaks out

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- A Portage woman authorities say was stabbed repeatedly by her boyfriend tells 27 News she fought for her life and feared her young children were the next targets.

"He told me, this is it, he's going to kill me," 28-year old Heather Lemon tells 27 News in an exclusive interview.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Canyon Thixton, 37, of Portage and he's been charged in Columbia County with attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Lemon's face bears evidence of the attack, with stitches in several places. She tells 27 News she has also a deep wound to her shoulder area. "He was going for my chest and I fought like hell," Lemon tells 27 News. "He told me he was going to kill me and then he was going to kill my kids and then he was going to kill himself," Lemon says of Thixton's actions early Friday morning in their Portage home.

Lemon says she was able to force Thixton to drop the knife and she escaped with her three children to the street. "I just knew I needed to protect myself and my kids at that point," Lemon tells 27 News.

A criminal complaint against Thixton says an officer came across the fleeing victim outside her home. "Her face was covered in blood. She was hysterical," the complaint states.

Lemon and her children are no longer in Portage as she continues to recover from her wounds, and as she and her children also cope with the emotional trauma. She tells 27 News her three year old daughter witnessed the attack. "The first couple days, my daughter wouldn't even come by me," Lemon tearfully tells 27 News. "She was terrified," she says.

"They're always with someone who can protect them if needed," Lemon says of the children.

Portage Police officials say Thixton escaped the crime scene on his motorcycle. Lemon says she remains fearful as long as Thixton remains a fugitive. "Nobody knows where he is," Lemon says. Police officials only say Thixton is not believed to be in the city. Lemon tells 27 News before the attack, Thixton talked of wanting the couple to go for a visit to California, where Thixton has relatives.

Lemon says the couple had stormy periods during their year long relationship, including occasions when Thixton physically harmed her. State court records show Thixton served a prison term after being convicted ten years ago of felony false imprisonment. A criminal complaint states Thixton strangled a Sun Prairie woman. "Canyon has threatened to kill her, her family and her friends if she ever told anybody about things he did to her or if she ever left him," the complaint says.

Lemon says 27 News she was aware of Thixton's past.

Lemon says she wants others in volatile relationships with histories of abuse to learn from the murder attempt against her and protect themselves.

"If you're in a situation that you don't believe in, don't do it, get out," Lemon counsels. "Do whatever it takes, because it could have ended so much worse for me, and I don't want anyone else to have to go through that."

Lemon says two GoFundMe pages were started in connection with her situation. But she says they were started by strangers who never consulted her. As a result of the violence, she and her children are displaced and she's unable to currently work in her position as a group home manager. Lemon has started her own GoFundMe page. "I've been shown so much love," she says.

Here is a link to the victim's GoFundMe page:

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Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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