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20-year-old woman killed by large rock thrown through windshield while driving, 1 of 5 similar attacks in Colorado: 'We have a family that is broken'
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20-year-old woman killed by large rock thrown through windshield while driving, 1 of 5 similar attacks in Colorado: 'We have a family that is broken'

A 20-year-old Colorado woman was killed after a large rock was thrown at her vehicle. The victim was one of at least five victims of rock attacks on cars in the Denver area.

Around 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday, a large rock was launched at a yellow Chevy Spark. At the time of the attack, Alexa Bartell was on the phone with her friend. The phone call went silent.

Bartell's friend used an app to locate Alexa’s phone. The friend found Alexa's Spark in a field off the road. The 20-year-old woman was dead inside her car near Denver, Colorado.

Police suspect that the rock was thrown from another vehicle or from the side of the road.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office declared Bartell's death to be a homicide.

The rock attack on Bartell was one of at least five similar incidents that occurred over a span of a little over two hours.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, a rock was thrown through a car's windshield in Westminster, Colorado. There were two more rock-throwing attacks in just over 30 minutes in Boulder County. Shortly after midnight, another car was struck by a large rock in Arvada, Colorado. Three of the rocks shattered windshields and remained inside the vehicles until they were recovered by police.

Two of the victims suffered minor injuries. As of Thursday, police said they were in good condition.

Police suspect that there may be more victims.

"Rocks were thrown at windshields of moving vehicles," said Jacki Kelley, spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. "The rocks are 4 to 6 inches wide and weighed 3 to 5 pounds."

"We have a family that is broken this morning by the loss of their daughter," Kelley said. "We don't understand why this happened."

"This is a 20-year-old girl who was simply driving home and is now the victim of a homicide," Kelley added. "And we want answers. We want to know who did this, and we want to bring them to justice."

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is working with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, Arvada Police, and Westminster Police to investigate the rock attacks.

Law enforcement initially believed a light-colored pickup truck might have been involved with the rock-throwing attacks. However, investigators tracked down the truck's owner and "positively confirmed" that the individual was not "involved in the crime series related to the death of Alexa Bartell." As of Friday morning, there have been no arrests and police reportedly have no suspects.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is urging anyone with information regarding the rock attacks to call its tip line at 303-271-5612.

Emily Audette, Bartell's former high school classmate, told KDVR about Alexa's sudden death, "It just doesn’t feel real. She was always just someone you could go to about anything, someone you could always talk to. She was just friends with everybody and made everybody laugh."

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