Intruder beats girl, kicks family dog to death during home invasion

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SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A family dog is dead and a teenage girl is beaten and bruised after a man broke into their home on Sunday.

It happened at their house at 1949 River Meadows Rd. while most of the family was at church.

Morgan Gordon was the only one home at the time. She had just sat down on the couch when she saw a man standing in their kitchen.

"We had a stare down, you know, for a couple seconds," she said. "It was frightening."

She tried to run to the back of the house but the suspect grabbed her arm.

"I elbowed him. And he hit me a bunch," she said.

She locked herself in a room, dialed 911 and called the rest of the family.

Homeowner Barbara Gordon, Morgan's mother-in-law, said the intruder ransacked their house, taking jewelry and money.

"And that was bill money. And money for my tithe," she said.

The intruder came in through an unlocked backdoor, according to a report from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office. They are still investigating and have not yet made an arrest.

The break-in took a significant financial toll - but it's nothing compared to their anguish over the family dog, Barbara said.

"I just really feel like I've been violated. And i haven't done anything to anyone to deserve this. I haven't," she said.

And while the physical bruises around Morgan's eye are starting to fade - she said the emotional trauma will take a while to heal.

"Your sense of security in the home, that's a big deal," she said. "And you know, your home is not the same when you're not safe in it."

Morgan said the intruder wore a mask, but the family suspects the suspect is someone they knew in the past.