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"We're still looking for people to come forward" about Jefferson County rock throwing death

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office seeking more tips on rock throwing death
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office seeking more tips on rock throwing death 03:06

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said late Thursday that it needed more clues to solve the killing of 20-year-old Alexa Bartell, who died after a rock was thrown through the windshield of her car as she drove north in the 10600 block of Indiana Street Wednesday night.

"We are still looking for people to come forward and let us know if they were a victim of a crime and also if they may have seen something that they didn't report prior," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jacki Kelley.

It followed a long day of investigating not only the rock throwing incident that killed Bartell, but also four other incidents within a few miles Wednesday night. Two other people have minor injuries after rocks described as larger than softballs and ranging from three to five pounds came through their windshields.

RELATED: Victim identified after being struck by rock while driving, suspects wanted in series of rock throwings

"We don't know what these suspects were doing. Whether they thought this was fun or funny or prank. But as a result of their actions this is a death investigation. It couldn't be more serious," said Kelley.

Bartell was described by people who knew her as positive and loving. "I've never met a better person," said a family friend. "It is heartbreaking to know her incredible light has gone out way too soon."

Eric Peterson, who runs a company where Alexa's mother works, showed up in the afternoon at the scene where the car went off the road to place flowers in Alexa's memory.

Courtesy / CBS

"She was the daughter of one of my senior accountants at my company. Loved basketball, loved life. Was always a happy and a smiling face," he shared. "Devastating."

Alexa was on the phone with a friend when all of a sudden the phone call went silent. The car drove off Indiana Street, through a small wire fence and off into a field. The friend did a location search on her phone and found she was not moving. She arrived to find Alexa still in her car, well off the road in a field, fatally injured.

Through investigation the sheriff put out images of a pickup truck from a gas station on Indiana, asking for help in finding what they called a "vehicle of interest." Hours later they had located the pickup and owner. They talked to the owner, who was not arrested. They did not impound the vehicle. In an update on Friday morning, the sheriff's office said it positively confirmed the "truck of interest" and its owner were not involved in the crime series related Bartell's death.

"We are continuing the search," said Kelley. She confirmed there were still no identified suspects on Friday in an email. 

But they are still believe a silver or white colored pickup was involved. They have heard from other people who have reported additional rock throwing incidents in recent weeks. It's still unclear whether the rocks were all thrown from a moving vehicle coming in the opposite direction or from the side of the road in the incidents. All yet to be figured out.

 "The public can help us solve crimes like this and we need their help right now," said Kelley. 

Anyone with information about the crime can call the Jeffco Sheriff's tip line at 303-271-5612.  

Anyone with information about the rock throwing is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867 - (720) 913-STOP. To be eligible for the $2,000 award and to remain anonymous, tipsters must call the tip line. Crime Stoppers collects information on unsolved crimes or individuals wanted by the police. Callers can remain anonymous. The tip line is answered 24 hours a day - 7 days a week.

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