According to police in Colorado, an 18-year-old woman has died after allegedly being beaten to death in a parking lot.
Danielle Hopton died at the hospital after being taken there following an assault, which left her with life-threatening injuries.
Her ex-boyfriend, Stephen McNeil, 20, has been arrested in connection with the incident, which is being treated as a homicide. McNeil has been charged with first-degree murder.
Another man, Ian Rayas, 20, was also thought to be present on the night and had traveled with Hopton and McNeil in a vehicle to the parking lot, which was part of an apartment complex.
Rayas was taken into custody and later charged with attempting to influence a public servant, in addition to accessory to a crime.
Hopton was found outside the apartment complex in Fort Collins and was taken to a hospital. Fort Collins police have not offered further details on Hopton’s type of injuries following the violent attack.
According to police, Hopton, McNeil, and Rayas had traveled to “hang out” at the parking lot the night of the incident.
Hopton and McNeil had been talking outside of the vehicle when the assault happened, after which McNeil fled the scene, and somebody contacted the emergency services.
McNeil has had a few run-ins with the law in recent months, according to records that were obtained by Fox News.
He was reportedly arrested on January 21 for second-degree assault on a nonfamily member and criminal mischief. The incidents are from December.
On a GoFundMe page set up in memory of Danielle Hopton, she is described as a “gorgeous” and “selfless” person who loved spending time volunteering at her local animal shelter.
Her family said she was always smiling and laughing and was often asking other people how they were doing.
She would help her father to raise puppies, who would later go on to become guide dogs.
The GoFundMe page reads in part: “Danielle was a gorgeous, loving, kind and caring young woman. She was always smiling and laughing, she was always asking how you are doing and just genuinely cared about others. Danielle loved spending her time volunteering at the Animal shelter, and helping her dad raise Guide Dog puppies. She was such a selfless and caring person.”
More than $35,000 has been raised already, which will be split between multiple charities, including animal shelters and guide dog charities, which the organizers of the fundraiser say is what Danielle would have wanted.