This is Lilly. At 19, she's a teenager like many others. She takes care with her appearance and wears colorful bands encircling her wrists. But Lilly's childhood was a nightmare of almost unspeakable horror. And she has the scars to prove it.

An unanswered cry for help from an abused Sacramento child has been heard by Bee readers, who want to support 19-year-old Lilly Manning in rebuilding her life as a young adult.

A young woman beaten and tortured as a child thanked her abusive, adoptive mom in court Friday and said that because of the ordeal, "I'm stronger than ever."

Lilly Manning came to The Bee because she wants to know her story.

The system utterly failed Lilly Manning, but now the community is showing it cares about the "girl with 100 scars."

Lilly Manning was 15 when she escaped from a cramped closet in south Sacramento, after being stabbed and beaten and shoved into the darkness. This time, she said, she knew she would have to save herself.

Documents show authorities had opportunities to prevent the abuse of Lilly Manning before she escaped from a closet Oct. 31, 2007. Here is a sampling:

Lilly Manning boarded her first airplane Tuesday and headed east for what she hopes will be a new life, free of torture and abuse and death threats.

Lilly is back. The teenage girl who captured Sacramento's heart with her story of torture, abuse and resilience returned this week to the only home she has ever really known.

Lilly Manning has been the recipient of other people's poor choices, bad judgment and terrible timing. Now, the 19-year-old woman who escaped torture in a south Sacramento home is seeking retribution.

Attorneys for the young Sacramento woman who was tortured as a teen in her adoptive home filed a lawsuit Thursday against seven current and former government workers who had contact with the troubled household.

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