For months, Northern Colorado residents dealt with the fear and uncertainty created by a series of shattered windows on area roadways and the apparently random killings of two people and the serious wounding of a third.
These incidents seemed to die down in late June, around the time the task force appointed to look into these incidents (and determine if they were linked) put out word about a vehicle of interest in one of the slayings — the June 3 murder of William "Bill" Connole in Loveland.
Now, however, there have been three new reported window shatterings over a four-day period — and while no definitive tie has been established between the latest happenings and those that took place earlier this year, the similarities are likely to set locals' nerves on edge yet again.
A brief recap: In mid-June, we told you about a truck whose window shattered on I-25 in the Westminster area — an incident that raised concerns that the rash of such incidents, and the possibility of their linkage to the homicides, could be moving closer to metro Denver.
In response, the leaders of the aforementioned task force shared a letter with the public maintaining that there was no evidence that the shatterings and killings of Connole and Windsor's John Jacoby, or the wounding of Miliken's Cori Romero, were connected — and taking the media to task for panicking the public. We've included the letter below.
Then came the release of a sketch depicting a truck that was seen in the vicinity of Connole's killing:
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Rather than revving up at that point, however, the investigation quieted down substantially — until the latest rash of shatterings.
According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the first incident took place around 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, on southbound Interstate 25 near mile marker 271.
The area is captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."
In that case, a man driving a company truck said his window shattered — but after it happened, he headed back to work, replaced the window and vacuumed up the shards. As such, Colorado State Patrol investigators doubt there's much investigatory evidence left.
Then, at approximately 9:19 a.m. on Friday, August 21, the driver's side window of a UPS truck driven by Leland Sloan shattered, injuring him in the process.
He was treated and released from a local hospital.
Two days later, on Sunday, August 23, a woman suffered a shattered windshield.
The location: Interstate 25 near mile marker 271 — roughly the same location as the shattering on Thursday.
Thus far, law enforcement has not linked any of the latest incidents, and neither have they been able to determine if the windows were shattered by gunfire or simple roadside hazards such as flying rocks.
But you can bet drivers in the area will be on the lookout for anything suspicious — again.
Here's the aforementioned task-force letter about the previous shatterings and shootings.