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Assault victim dies in Colorado

Olson: Injuries received in local beating a factor.

A Colorado woman, who was assaulted in Gothenburg Sept. 17, died three weeks later.

Gothenburg police chief Randy Olson said the victim, 42-year-old Michelle Stella of Castle Rock, CO, was rehabilitating with her family in Colorado after her release from Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney on Sept. 24.

On Oct. 7, he said she was rushed to a Colorado hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for a brain aneurism.

Olson said Stella died Monday as a result of the injuries she received in the assault.

The beating happened the night of Sept. 17. Police officers and members of the Gothenburg Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a one- vehicle injury accident on Highway 30, just east of Gothenburg.

Upon their arrival, officers were flagged down by an 8-year-old boy who directed them to his injured mother—Stella—who was lying in the westbound lane. Olson said she had suffered severe face and head injuries.

Olson said Stella had been in the Gothenburg area with her son and boyfriend for a wedding reception that day.

The boyfriend was identified as 39-year-old Eugene Melledy of Peyton, CO.

Before the assault, Olson said the boyfriend stopped the vehicle, removed Stella and started striking her face and head with his fists.

During the assault, Stella was able to tell her son to run away which he did, hiding in a ditch until police arrived.

Stella was transported to Gothenburg Memorial Hospital and later to Good Samaritan Hospital where she was listed in serious condition.

After the assault, Olson said Melledy drove his 2008 Nissan Armada SUV at a high rate of speed intentionally off the roadway and it rolled several times into an irrigation ditch.

Olson said Melledy was injured in the crash but exited the vehicle and walked to the 900 block of 16th Street where he committed suicide.

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