When Bibi Aisha's nose and ears were cut off by her husband and in-laws, no-one expected much to be done about it, especially because it happened in a remote area under Taleban control.
But thanks to support from aid groups, Aisha was whisked off to the United States for reconstructive surgery, and everyone assumed that it was case closed on the perpetrators.
Now it appears that, while Afghan police did not have a long enough arm to reach into the village that Aisha had fled, officers nonetheless did have long memories, and this week arrested one of the suspects.
"It would have taken 100 armoured vehicles to go in there to that village," said the district police chief, Mohammed Gul. Sooner or later, though, everyone in the area comes to the bazaar in the Chora district, in southern Oruzgan Province. When Aisha's father-in-law, Sulaiman, showed up, the police were waiting.
According to Mr Gul, Mr Sulaiman spotted the police at the same time as they spotted him, and made a run for it. Officers chased him on foot and ran him down a mile and a quarter later.
Aisha's case came to prominence in August when Time magazine used a picture of her on its cover, with the suggestion that this was what would happen if the West left Afghanistan.
A child bride, Aisha had fled her arranged marriage to a Taleban fighter, but was captured and returned to the village, where her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law carried out the mutilation, after approval by the local Taleban mullah. Left for dead, she said, she then fled to the safety of a women's shelter in Kabul run by Women for Afghan Women, which publicised her plight a year later.
Mr Gul said Mr Sulaiman, who like many Afghans has one name, confessed to participating in the disfigurement. He credited an unusual campaign from higher police officials pressing his department into trying to apprehend the perpetrators. "I had 15 letters and warrants come down for them," he said.
"This was a case of persistence and diligence by our police," said Zemarai Bashary, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
The provincial police chief in Oruzgan was scathing in denouncing the crime and its perpetrators. "Sulaiman pointed a gun at her head while his sons, sliced off her nose," said Brigadier General Juma Gul Himat. "Sulaiman then took her amputated nose and proudly showed it off around the village."
It is rare for the police in Afghanistan to intervene when local villagers impose punishments for social crimes, even severe ones such as flogging and stoning, which are allowed under Shariah law.
"This is against Afghan-ism, against Afghan and Shariah laws, against every principle in the world, against humanity, so that's why we wanted to bring him to justice," said Gen Himat.
He said that the police knew Mr Sulaiman well as an associate of what he called terrorists.
"He made a big mistake," the general said. "He disfigured a creature of God, and he was proud of what he had done."
Aisha's father, Hajji Muhammed Zai, confirmed that he had agreed to the betrothal of Aisha and her younger sister to Mr Sulaiman's family members, in payment of what is called "baad," a customary obligation owed by his own family. It is a common practice in rural areas. Both were infants when they were engaged.
Aisha, now 20, is living in the US being treated for emotional problems from her ordeal.