68-year-old Rosie Clemmons' mobile home was apparently picked at random early Sunday morning by a suspect whose stolen pickup truck broke down along nearby I-69.
"He wanted to use the phone and she said she would call whoever he wanted," said her cousin, Dorothy Woods. "By that time he came in on her. Could you imagine that?"
Woods found it difficult to believe when she heard Clemmons was hit on the head with a hammer.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I was just in shock, and it was just a hurting feeling."
32 year-old Michael J. Jackson is not only charged with beating Clemmons, but her 10-year-old and 13-year-old grandsons as well.
"Hit them boys with the hammer and stuff like that," Woods said.
Monday, there was still blood outside a bedroom window where the boys were attacked. One of them was able to push out an air conditioning unit and run for help. He alerted a neighbor who investigators say fired a shotgun at Jackson.
Jackson was later tracked down by a deputy's K-9 squad dog.
"About six or seven hundred yards behind the home," said DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco. "Found him hiding in the kudzu."
Sheriff Rasco believes Jackson was high on crystal meth during the attack and had just stolen tools from a building in Southaven.
"I guess he saw the trailer up there and went up," Rasco said. "I don't know what got into him."
Rasco said Jackson did not rob Mrs. Clemmons, and was injured himself by the police dog. He's being held on a $850,000 bond.
Jackson is from Arkansas and has a prior criminal history.