Georgia teenager Trent Lehrkamp spoke out for the first time after a group of vicious bullies left him clinging to life on a hospital ventilator in a case that has garnered national headlines.
"I'm alive and doing well," Lehrkamp, 19, told local news station WSAV this week. "Just know it's going to be a long time for me to get over this, through the trauma, but one day hopefully within the next few months or so, I might be back."
He added, "Justice will be served." Lehrkamp is currently recovering at an out-of-state facility.
Three teenagers left Lehrkamp at a local hospital March 21 soaked in urine and covered in spray paint after he was allegedly forced to drink large amounts of alcohol and fed drugs, according to a Glynn County Police report.
A photo of the depraved incident emerged on Snapchat of Lehrkamp passed out in a chair covered in objects as four boys pose in the background.
Authorities are investigating the alleged assault at the St. Simons Island home, in addition to prior incidents in which Lehrkamp was victimized.
On another occasion, Lehrkamp is shown in a 10-second clip at the same home slumped over in a chair with a hose trained on him as minors can be seen socializing in the background.
His father told police that on March 17 his son returned from the same friend's house "covered in WD-40, vomit, paint, glue, egg yolk and spray paint," an incident report shows.
Lehrkamp also suffered a laceration to his face that required stitches after visiting the supposed friend.
In a press release issued Monday, Glynn County Interim Police Chief O'Neal Jackson, III, said it was important to correct misinformation that could potentially hamper the probe.
"There is no question the video and pictures linked to the Lehrkamp investigation are very disturbing," Jackson said. However, he added, reports that the victim had been defecated on or was autistic are inaccurate.
In a post to a GoFundMe account for Lehrkamp that has raised nearly $130,000, the organizer provided an update on his condition.
"He wants everyone to know he is thankful for the well wishes, the love and support that you all have shown to him," wrote Erika Keller, who did not disclose her relationship to the victim.
"He wants you all to know he’s alive and well but has a long road to go towards being fully recovered from the trauma," she continued.
The Glynn County Police Department is asking anyone with information to contact them via phone or email: 912-264-1333 or email@example.com.