Investigator: Girl doesn’t know why she was beaten
The motive behind why a teenage runaway was allegedly beaten with a golf club by two acquaintances on Independence Pass is “not crystal clear,” said the lead investigator in the case.The 16-year-old girl from Bakersfield, Calif., has not told police why two teenagers severely assaulted her and left her for dead along Highway 82.”The motive is still not crystal clear,” said Joe DiSalvo, head of investigations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. “She has told us what happened, but I don’t think she knows why.”The teenage boy is a former Aspen High student, DiSalvo said, though he would not say whether the boy graduated high school. The female suspect is also from Bakersfield, and police believe the two girls ran away from home together.Attempted homicide arrest warrants have been issued for both suspects, who remained on the lam Monday. DiSalvo said it is unclear if both teens participated in the assault, although he thinks both are equally culpable.Police know more specifics of the case, but were not releasing the information on the advice of Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills.”When you [give out information] you start tainting the jury pool,” Wills said when questioned Monday about the informal gag order. “We’ve had too much press on this case already, frankly, and it needs to stop. We will try the case to a jury of 12 that will be selected to hear the entire case, and we’re preparing for that.”More information should be available if or when one or both of the suspects are arrested, Wills said. The affidavits in the case would become public information upon an arrest. He said he will not request the judge seal the affidavits from the public.The victim initially told police that she didn’t know her attackers, and the crime was initially viewed as random. Police initially released information about two men the victim described as suspects. More details were elicited from the girl, leading to the hunt for the teen suspects.”With a violent crime there can be some public urgency, and so some information has been released that’s more than usual, I guess,” Wills said of the case early on. “But at this point we’re going forward with the investigation, and the publicity needs to come to a more normal course.”Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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