GYPSUM, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents of the small town of Gypsum are shocked after a 13-year-old boy is in custody, accused of killing his father and spending nearly a week inside the home with the body.
“It’s a tragedy and people need to understand this wasn’t a good thing for anyone involved, and Kai is only 13,” neighbor Theresa Thissen said.
Thissen isn’t just a neighbor, she has watched Kai Kelly grow up as a friend of his mother’s since before he was born. She says she had no idea what went on inside the blue house she herself previously rented before the Kelly family.
Kai Kelly mother wasn’t living in the home with her son and ex-husband.
“I’m sure he held a lot of things in that bothered him because you’re torn between your mom and your dad. And you love them both and they love you and you don’t know what to do,” Thissen said.
Investigators found a .22 caliber rifle inside the home. Joseph Kelly Jr. had two bullet wounds to the head.
“He had been dead for around six days,” Eagle County coroner Kara Bettis said. “There was one to the back of the head and one to the temple.”
Deputies only arrived at the home after Joseph Kelly’s employer called them, finding it suspicious the boy had called in sick for his father for nearly a week.
“During this check the juvenile answered the door and told deputies his 50-year-old father was deceased inside the residence,” Eagle County Sheriff Joseph Hoy said.
The sheriff said they don’t have a motive in the investigation.
“The economy put huge financial stress on that family, and that’s why they had to come and rent. They lost their home and Joe tried to just keep going,” Thissen said. “It’s unbelievable … no one can understand, we don’t know what goes through someone’s mind when something like this happens.”
Since Kai Kelly is a juvenile the court process is going to play out a bit slower than normal. A lawyer told CBS4 a decision hasn’t been made but it’s unlikely the boy will be tried as an adult.