DENVER -- A good ole' mountain mama with a heart of gold, that's how 71-year- old Katie Kulpa's son describes her.
“She`s always been someone who loves people, who trusts people and that`s always been reciprocated back to her,” said her son, Gregg Leverentz.
Until this time.
Police said Monday night, 16-year-old Jeffrey Collins attacked Kulpa inside her remote Lefthand Canyon home near Jamestown.
“He hit her so hard it broke,” Leverentz described.
With a metal fireplace poker, Gregg says Collins struck Kulpa in the head.
“She had a scull fracture. This all the way across here is split. Broken orbital, broke her sinus,” he said describing her injuries.
According to police the teenage hitchhiker planned to steal her car after Kulpa invited him and his two friends into her home.
“For this to happen to her especially by a 16-year-old, its gonna', I guess, make her think a lot about the choices she makes being open with people,” said Leverentz.
Gregg said his mother probably wouldn’t be alive had the two friends who were with the suspect not run for help.
To them, Gregg simply said, “Thank you. Whether they know it or not they probably saved her life,” he said.
To Collins, he said he only wants to ask why.
“That`s the question I keep asking myself over and over, like how and why did this happen because there was really no need for it,” he said.
Wavering between hurt and anger, he said the actions of a 16-year-old kid have caused a lot more than just blood loss.
“She’s lost her tranquility, her peace, her little area which is hers, that`s all been taken from her,” Leverentz said.
A GoFundMe account is available to help Kulpa with expenses.