A 16-year-old hitchhiker is wanted for attempted murder after assaulting a 71-year-old woman.

Hitchhiking has always scared me from both sides - the idea of picking up hitchhikers as well as hailing rides from random strangers. After reading about this gruesome incident that left an elderly woman in the Intensive Care Unit with multiple fractures, lacerations, and a significant head injury, I will hold my opinion that involvement with hitchhiking of any shape or form is flat-out sketchy.

According to a news release, a group of teenage hitchhikers were picked up by a 71-year-old woman in Lefthand Canyon on Monday. She offered them a place to stay until they could find a ride to take them home from a camping trip, and the teens obliged.

Several hours after arriving at the woman's home, one of the teens, an unidentified 16-year-old boy, suggested to his mates, a 19-year-old man and 17-year-old girl, that they assault the woman to steal her car. His friends disagreed with the idea,  but the 16-year-old boy assaulted her anyway, unprovoked. The 2 other hitchhikers ran to a neighboring residence about a half mile away to report the assault.

The 16-year-old boy fled the scene and was last seen getting into a white hatchback that traveled west up Lefthand Canyon and is currently at large.

Boulder County Sheriff's investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the boy for Attempted First Degree Murder and First-Degree Assault to an At-Risk Adult with bond set at $1 Million.

He is Caucasian with blonde hair - if you see him or may have given him a ride, contact Detective Jason Shatek at 303-441-3641 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers if you'd like to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The elderly woman remains in the Intensive Care Unit. The other 2 teens are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

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