BOULDER, Colo. — A 14-year-old girl was being held without bond for investigation of manslaughter Tuesday while officials investigate her claim that she shot her father to death to help him commit suicide.
In denying bond, Magistrate T.J. Cole called the teen a “danger to herself and the community.”
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the home Sunday after a female caller dialed 911 and mentioned the girl’s home address before hanging up. Deputies discovered the body of a 56-year-old man in an upstairs bedroom, Lt. Phil West said.
The girl, West said, was unemotional when investigators first arrived and she told them her father had taken his own life. The lack of a suicide note and inconsistencies in her story, however, led authorities to suspect she might have been involved.
Said she fired gun to ‘end his suffering’
The girl then acknowledged shooting her father, but only after finding him in pain after he had tried to shoot himself to death. She indicated she shot her father to “end his suffering.”
“The thing I find so troubling is even when confronted with a situation like this, by her own admission, she decided to end somebody’s life instead of calling for help,” West said.
The names of the man and his daughter weren’t released.
Neighbors Cathy Miller and Alan Patrick said things never seemed quite right at the house. Patrick said he sometimes heard the man yelling and described him as “obnoxious.”
“I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to cross him in any way,” he said.
Miller described the home as a prison of sorts, saying the girl and her older brother were rarely seen outside after they returned from school on the bus, although the girl once sold her Girl Scout cookies.
‘I think they lived in fear’
“I think they lived in fear,” Miller said. “All I could think of is just that (the girl) had had it.”
The father was a self-employed electrician who reportedly divorced from his wife in 2003 before moving with his daughter to Florida last year. They had returned to the Boulder to sell their former home, Miller said.
He died of multiple gunshot wounds, but Boulder County Coroner Thomas J. Faure would not discuss the precise number or location of the wounds or reveal whether the man had suffered from any previous health problems.
Prosecutors said they had not yet decided whether to charge the teenager as a juvenile or as an adult, and exactly what charges she would face.
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