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'No piece of information is insignificant': Reward offered after driver killed by rock thrown into car

Alexa Bartell was driving home late Wednesday when she was hit by a rock and killed. Her death is part of a larger crime spree, the sheriff's office said.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A reward totaling $17,000 is being offered for information after a 20-year-old woman was struck and killed by a rock that was thrown into her vehicle as she was driving near Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge.

Alexa Bartell was driving home on northbound Indiana Street around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday when she was hit by the rock. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO), the rock was possibly thrown from a vehicle or the side of the road near the 10600 block of Indiana Street.

At the time Bartell was on the phone with a friend and the line went silent. Bartell's friend tracked down her phone and drove to the location on Indiana Street and found Bartell dead inside of her car which was off the roadway in a field.

Friday afternoon, the sheriff's office announced that Metro Denver Crime Stoppers was offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information in the case. There is a separate $15,000 being offered by the company where Bartell's mother works, the sheriff's office confirmed.

Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Alexa Bartell

"This is a 20-year-old female who was driving home from work and she’s no longer with us because of this senseless act," Jacki Kelley with the JCSO said. "This is not fun and games, this is not a prank. This killed a woman last night and we want to know who did this."

A friend from work described Alexa as everyone's friend – a joy to be around. A former high school classmate said Bartell was always the person you could call for anything, just to talk or laugh. 

The sheriff's office said her death is part of an overnight crime spree. Shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, the sheriff released photos of a truck they believed could be connected to the incident. 

After interviewing the owner of the pick-up truck, the sheriff's office determined that the owner and the "truck of interest" were not involved in the series of crimes.

JCSO made a specific plea Friday to Tesla owners to check their systems for any footage that could potentially provide clues about the crime spree. They're targeting Tesla owners because those vehicles constantly records activity while driving.

  • 10:04 p.m. – Westminster - 100th Ave. & Simms St. – rock through a windshield – driver not injured
  • 10:36 p.m. – Boulder County - McCaslin Boulevard and South Indiana Street (entrance to Rock Creek neighborhood) rock through a windshield – minor injuries to the driver
  • 10:37 p.m. – Boulder County – McCaslin Boulevard and South Indiana Street (entrance to Rock Creek neighborhood) - rock hit a Toyota 4-Runner – body damage to a vehicle, driver not injured 
  • 10:45 p.m. – Jefferson County – 10600 block of Indiana Street – rock through a windshield of yellow Chevy Spark – homicide
  • April 20 at 12:24 a.m. – Arvada - Highway 93 at Highway 72 – rock through a windshield – minor injuries to the driver

The sheriff's office said in a few cases they have recovered the rocks that shattered the windshield and came into the car. They also provided an interactive map showing the different locations.

"We know that these rocks are four to six inches, three to five pounds, so they're large like landscaping rocks that were essentially used as a deadly weapon in this investigation," said Jacki Kelley, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
A photo of the smashed windshield of Alexa Bartell's vehicle after a rock was thrown at her as she drove home Wednesday night.

The sheriff's office said they're working with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Arvada Police and Westminster Police to gather information. They believe there may be additional victims.

Investigators are asking for help to identify and locate the suspects involved. Anyone who witnessed anything related to the suspect's vehicle or the suspects who may have been inside should call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

They're specifically looking for anyone who might have home security or dash cameras that may have caught the vehicle driving by.

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