Stephen McNeil Biography Stephen McNeil Wiki
A 20-year-old ex-boyfriend of Danielle Hopton, 18, from Fort Collins and another man were arrested and accused of beating to death, police said.
An old animal lover, 18-year-old Danielle Hopton spent her free time at a local animal shelter helping her father raise guide dog pups.
But on February 6, the youngest graduate’s life was cut short when she was beaten to death, presumably by an ex-boyfriend, police said.
From last week but I must have missed it, from Fort Collins, my old gf was an animal control officer here. I will be donating to her gofundme page
Colo. Teen Who Volunteered at Animal Shelter Is Beaten to Death in Parking Lot: ‘Heinous Act’ https://t.co/RhnDWGJaI6
— Stephen Butts Burkhardt (@BurkhardtButts) February 15, 2021
Described as “a beautiful, loving, kind and caring young woman, ‘Hopton’ always smiled and laughed, always wondered how you were and just cared about others,” wrote Bo Street on a GoFundMe page created for her. Family.
“She was such a selfless and caring person,” he wrote.
The domestic violence allegations became known on February 6 when Fort Collins police received an emergency call about an unconscious and injured woman in the parking lot at 525 East Drake Road, the department said in a statement.
When officers arrived, they found Hopton in the parking lot “with fatal injuries related to an attack,” the statement said.
She was taken to a local hospital where she died of her injuries.
Investigators later identified Stephen McNeil, 20, as a suspect of his murder, police said in the statement.
“He and the victim knew each other,” the statement said.
The two “were already in a relationship,” the statement said.
Hopton and McNeil attended Fossil Ridge High School, reports CBS4.
According to CBS4, Hopton graduated from the 2020 class with an academic award.
McNeil was on the athletics and soccer teams, reports CBS4.
On February 7, hours after the alleged beating, officers found Stephen McNeil at noon and arrested him without incident.
He was detained in Larimer County Jail for first degree murder, crime, domestic violence, violating a protection order, and bail violation.
“Our condolences to the victim’s family and friends,” said Lt. Jeremy Yonce. “This heinous act of violence claimed the life of a woman and changed the life of loved ones forever. We will continue to work diligently to support his family and seek justice.
In addition to being charged with Hopton’s death, CBS4 reports that online court documents show that McNeil was arrested in December and charged with a crime of strangulation.
He was arrested in January and charged with a crime.
He was released from jail on Jan. 22 with a bonus of $ 2,650, reports CBS4. The documents in these cases were sealed, the network reported, and it was not immediately clear whether he had made any statements or hired a lawyer to comment on these allegations or the Hopton-related allegations.
Upon further investigation, detectives learned that “a group of friends,” including Hopton, Stephen McNeil and another man, Ian Rayas, 20, from Timnath, “had made contacts that night, according to police.
“A lot of people went to an apartment complex at 525 E. Drake Road and parked to get out,” police said in the statement.
“Hopton and Stephen McNeil,” the statement read, “got out of the vehicle to speak and the attack took place. McNeil got out and a member of the group named 911.”
Rayas, who, according to police, falsely denied what happened, was jailed in Larimer County Jail for criminal attempts to influence an officer and an accomplice in a crime.
It is not known whether Rayas pleaded guilty or employed a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
“Domestic violence is all too common and affects people of all ages in many communities,” said FCPS Staff Sgt. Heather Moore, who heads the Crimes Against People division, said in the statement. “If you or someone you know has experienced violence, contact us. We have resources in our community to end the cycle of violence.”
Anyone who has information about this incident and has not spoken to the police should call Corporal Tessa Jakobsson at 970-221-6575. Those who wish to remain anonymous can also contact Larimer County Crime Stoppers at 970-221-6868.