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Man charged in shooting of teen in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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BOSTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio– A man is facing charges for the shooting of a teen, who was found in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park last month.

Hikers discovered the girl in a field near Akron-Peninsula Road in Boston Township on July 3. She was taken to an area hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma. According to court documents, she suffered three gunshot wounds to her head and face.

More stories about the teen found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park here

Dezay Ely (Photo: Ohio Department of Corrections)

Dezay Ely (Photo: Ohio Department of Corrections)

On Friday, Dezay Martell Ely appeared in court in the case. He faces charges of attempted murder and discharged of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

In the days after the shooting, authorities worked to identify the victim and her attacker. Using her cell phone records and information on social media accounts, investigators were led to Ely, who has previous convictions for robbery and involuntary manslaughter.

The victim had been staying with Ely and his brother. ¬†On the night of the shooting, Ely wanted to test a gun he just bought before he robbed someone, the documents said. They drove to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and that’s where Ely shot the girl three times.

The victim, who has since been identified, told investigators she tried to stand, but kept falling. She remembered thinking, “Forget it. I’m about to die,” then closed her eyes. She did not remember the hikers finding her and she remains blind.

Two bicyclists in the park that day reported seeing a car matching the description of the one detailed by the victim. The same vehicle was also spotted on surveillance video about 5 miles from the crime scene.