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Teen hitchhiker accused of attacking 71-year-old woman identified

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The 16-year-old hitchhiker accused of attacking a 71-year-old woman in Lefthand Canyon has been identified as Jeffrey Collins.

Collins is wanted for attempted first-degree murder and assaulting an at-risk adult.

The woman was in intensive care with a significant head injury and multiple fractures Tuesday afternoon, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said. The teen is accused of beating her with a blunt object.

“The court is allowing for the release of the juvenile information because he is at large and considered dangerous,” the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released Wednesday. “He is also likely to be filed as an adult into district court upon his apprehension.”

The sheriff’s office said Collins was hitchhiking with two companions near Ward on Monday 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 Collins suggested they assault the woman so they could steal her vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators said the two others didn’t go along, but a short time later, Collins , unprovoked, began to assault the woman. The two companions ran to a home about a half-mile away to report the assault, the sheriff’s office said. They are cooperating with deputies.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Collins is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency. If you have information, but would like to remain anonymous, please contact Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit their website at nococrimestoppers.com. Those who provide information leading to the identification of a suspect could be eligible to receive a reward of up to $1,000.