Teen accused of beating, critically injuring 71-year-old woman

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- A 71-year-old woman was critically injured and officials are searching for a 16-year-old male who is suspected of attacking her.

Boulder County sheriff's office investigators said the attack happened about 8 p.m. Monday in the woman's residence in Lefthand Canyon.

When deputies arrived after receiving a report of an assault, they found the woman suffering from a significant head injury, multiple fractures and lacerations.

She was in intensive care at a hospital Tuesday afternoon, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said. The teen is accused of beating her with a blunt object.

The sheriff's office said the 16-year-old was hitchhiking with two companions near Ward when the woman picked them up and offered them a place to stay until they could arrange a ride home after a camping trip.

The hitchhikers were at the woman's home for several hours when the 16-year-old suggested they assault the woman so they could steal her vehicle, the sheriff's office said.

The two others didn't go along, but a short time later, the 16-year-old, unprovoked, began to assault the woman. The 16-year-old's companions ran to a home about a half-mile away to report the assault, the sheriff's office said.

The two who reported the assault are cooperating with deputies.

The teen suspect was last seen getting into a white hatchback that traveled west up Lefthand Canyon. Investigators presume he fled the area by hitchhiking with the driver of that vehicle.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the 16-year-old for attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault to an at-risk adult.

Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 303-441-3641 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.