When Sophia Putney-Wilcox returned from visiting a friend one night in September 2014, she never imagined her ex-boyfriend would be waiting for her with a knife. CBS’ ‘48 Hours: Live to Tell: Sophia’s Secret’ has Sophia talking about the abuse she endured throughout her relationship with Adam Shigwadja and how she coped with the attack later on. So, if you’re curious to find out more about her, here’s what we know!
Who is Sophia Putney-Wilcox?
When Sophia was a freshman in 2011, she met Adam, a 16-year-old sophomore. At the time, the 14-year-old thought that he was mysterious, and once he contacted her on Facebook, the relationship took off. Sophia said, “I was definitely completely infatuated with him. …He was quiet, and I couldn’t get that much out of him. I think I was attracted to that. I put a lot of my focus into just trying to figure him out.” But their relationship turned into an unhealthy one with Adam trying to control Sophia’s every move, leading to her having to deal with his anger and jealousy.
After an on-and-off relationship that also involved a previous threat of harm with a knife, Sophia decided to break up with Adam just days before the attack happened in September 2014. When she returned home, Sophia saw Adam with a knife in her room. Sophia later testified, “I started getting kind of freaked out, and he was just looking at me, and he was saying stuff to me like, ‘Your family is so stupid, your family is so stupid.'” When a terrified Sophia asked Adam if he would kill her, he said, “Yes.”
Sophia further added, “I thought that I was trapped and there was no way I was going to get out, and that was going to be the moment that I was going to die. I was just closing my eyes, waiting for everything to take its course.” Sophia’s mother, Kristin, and her brother, Kiely, eventually got into Sophia’s room. But by then, he had set it on fire. Kiely then went into the room with a baseball bat, hitting Adam several times. Adam fled through the window. In the process, Kiely accidentally hit Sophia, knocking her out.
Where is Sophia Putney-Wilcox Now?
After Adam fled, the family rushed Sophia to a hospital where she was treated for the head injury. She eventually recovered and testified at Adam’s trial in 2015, talking about how Adam became more violent and abusive in the time leading up to the attack. Sophia later said she stayed in the relationship because she thought she could help him. She added, “And then it was because he had torn my self-esteem down so low that I didn’t have any value for myself, and I was scared for my life obviously — ’cause when I did try to leave him, look what happened.”
Adam was convicted in relation to the attack and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Sophia believed that sharing her story made a difference and hoped it would help others end abusive relationships. Regarding Adam going to jail, she said, “I had such a deep wave of relief wash over me, and I couldn’t put it into words. It’s not like I’m happy that Adam’s in prison. I can just finally feel safe.” Since the incident, Sophia has moved on with her life. She seems to still live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A report from 2018 stated that Sophia was engaged and pregnant with her first child, due in June 2018.
Read More: Where is Adam Shigwadja Now?