Four-year-old Continues Recovery From Attack

Sunday, March 14, 1999
by Associated Press

(Knoxville-AP) -- Peter Lillelid is taking one baby step at a time toward recovery.

The four-year-old was maimed and orphaned when his family was attacked by six people -- ages 14 to 20 -- at a Greeneville interstate rest stop in 1997.

Peter's right eye was shot out. Another bullet hit him in the back. While MRIs have shown no spinal-cord damage, Peter's right leg has yet to function normally. He's living with his aunt and uncle in Stockholm, Sweden.

His aunt, Randi Heier, says he now speaks Swedish fluently and can walk with a walker.

His attackers were given three life sentences -- one for each family member killed -- and another 25 years for attacking Peter. Attorneys are appealing the sentences.

Meanwhile, Peter hopes physical therapy eventually will allow him to keep up with the other children on the playground.

(Copyright 1999 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)