INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A single mom now has hope that she'll see justice nearly two years after being victimized in a brutal attack and rape. And it turns out, it's connected to another high-profile metro attack.
DNA evidence from one of Taylor Hirth's accused attackers led Jackson County prosecutors to file new charges.
The 32-year-old refuses to hide in the shadows. She wants people to hear her story.
It was February 2016. Hirth's toddler daughter was asleep in bed next to her when at least two men broke into their Independence apartment and began a brutal attack.
“I was woken up in the middle of the night to men standing over me," Hirth said. "My daughter was in the bed between me and where he was standing. He told me to get on my stomach, and he proceeded to rape me."
The attack went on for several hours. When the two men finally stopped, Hirth went to the police.
“I felt like they were really dismissive and kind of judgmental," she said. "It seemed like they had their own narrative in their mind and were trying to find ways to find things that fulfill the narrative they already had in their head of what had happened, rather than listening to me and believing me."
Now, two men -- Brady Newman-Caddell and William Luth -- face charges in the attack on Hirth. They got caught because of the high-profile kidnapping and rape of a Johnson County, Kansas, sheriff's deputy, eight months later.
“At the time I didn't recognize them, but when I found out when they found them and matched the DNA to my case, I realized that one of them was my neighbor,” Hirth said.
It was October 2016 when police say Luth and Newman-Caddell forced that female deputy into a car one night when she arrived at the jail in Olathe for work. They were accused of driving around, raping her multiple times, before finally letting her go in Missouri.
“They had called me as soon as they had arrested them for the rape in Johnson County,” Hirth said.
Now, DNA evidence has linked Luth to the attack on Hirth, and Jackson County prosecutors charged him with first-degree rape.
“If they had never gotten that DNA hit in Johnson County, these guys would still be out there,” Hirth said. “A lot of it was just relief. I had spent eight months feeling like I was the only person in the justice system involved in this case who believed me.”
Newman-Caddell, who was also charged in the assault on the deputy, was already charged in connection to the Independence attack.
“It does give me some kind of validation that the justice system is taking this seriously and being believed now,” Hirth said.
Newman-Caddell’s cases are ongoing. Luth already pleaded guilty in Johnson County. Now he'll work through the charges in Hirth's case.