It's been two months since the shocking crimes of March 14 when Lori Bresnahan was murdered and a 10-year-old girl was raped. Now, for the first time, the man who was first on the scene on that night is sharing his story.
Bill Cregg had purchased scratch-off lottery tickets earlier on March 14. They were not winners. Cregg, the owner of a commercial roofing company, was leaving a meeting that Thursday night when he decided he'd try to win.
That decision put him on a collision course with one of the most shocking and heinous crimes to ever happen in Central New York. He had taken a route home to Cicero that he does not normally take, and it put him on Verplank Road in Clay.
In an exclusive interview with CBS 5's Michael Benny, Cregg tells the story of his involvement in the moments after prosecutors say Liverpool librarian Lori Bresnahan was stabbed repeatedly and a young girl was raped in the vehicle in which they were car jacked at Great Northern Mall in Clay that night.
"It was dark, darker then dark on that road that night," Cregg told Benny. "All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw something and it was the little girl.â??
The child was hysterical and informed Cregg that there was a man out there who was hurting people. Cregg, who had been on the phone with 911 since before he got out of his vehicle, was trying to calm the 10-year-old-girl, but also to get critical information from of her.
"I just kept telling her, â??honey, I'm a friend, I'm a friend, I'm a friend, and soon we'll have more friends here,â??" Cregg said.
Cregg recounts the events of that night with military precision. He spent several years on active duty with the Army and has the medals and commendations to prove it. It was his military training that kicked in that night, but he also showed great compassion.
After another passing driver stopped near the crime scene, Cregg told that man to stay with the child, who was secured in Cregg's vehicle. Then his attention turned to Lori Bresnahan.
"There was very little that could have been done to save Lori,â?? Cregg said. Bresnahan had been stabbed many times and was near death. Cregg offered the only comfort he could; he told Lori the child was safe and that he was not going to let anyone hurt her again.
"Lori fought for the child until the end. She continued to seek out the child and she was aware that the child was going to be safe before she passed," Cregg said.
Michael Benny's interview was conducted a few days before Bill Cregg is to be honored with the Onondaga County District Attorney's Distinguished Service award for his heroism that night.
Family members of Lori Bresnahan were made aware of the interview. There is one family sanctioned fund for the young victim in this case.
If you are interested in donating, this is the fund:
Bresnahan Family Benefit Fund
C/O Community Bank NA
5966 State Route 31
Cicero, NY 13039
Michael Benny's exclusive series of reports:
Watch Part 2: The First Responders - Man first on scene of Clay horrors praises first responders who answered his 911 call for help
Watch Part 3: Taking Action - Man first on scene of Clay horrors says 'someone fell asleep when it comes to Lori Bresnahan and the little girl'