Community rolls in to help survivor of brutal attack with medical expenses
CRAIG — Craig residents bowled a strike Saturday in their efforts to raise money to help cover local resident Susan Reeves’ medical expenses.
Reeves was assaulted and seriously injured in her home June 21, allegedly by her nephew, Jonathan Alexzander Waugh. Waugh, 36, reportedly struck Reeves, 69, with his fists and attempted to strangle her with a cord, eventually leaving her for dead and setting fire to her home. Waugh was charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson, two counts of second-degree assault, felony criminal mischief, second-degree burglary and attempted first-degree assault.
Valerie Moralez — organizer of Saturday’s fundraising event at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center and Reeves’s friend — said said she felt it in her heart to do something to help. She said she knew there would be costs Reeves would probably not be able to handle on her own and felt she needed to do whatever she could to help. She came up with the fundraising idea after speaking with friends who worked at Thunder Rolls.
Volunteers called businesses solicit donations for the event’s live auctions and received about $2,000 worth from merchandise from businesses in the community.
“The community has been amazing,” Moralez said. “Susan has a lot of friends, and they all wanted to help her. … We’ll make sure she is OK.”
Moralez described Reeves as a kind person who wants to help everyone, adding she is very independent, strong and, most importantly, feisty.
Reeves said she is still shocked by what her nephew did to her. She has been working with insurance companies to repair her damaged home, but said she was told they couldn’t help, because it was a relative who had damaged her home, not an intruder.
“I’ve been paying my home insurance for 30 years,” Reeves said, expressing frustration with the insurance company’s policy.
She added she is thankful, however, for the support and help the community is giving her. She is on Social Security, she said, and receives about $1,000 a month, making it impossible for her to pay some of the medical bills associated with her injuries. She has been referred to specialists to help with her recovery and said she is focused on healing.
Reeves has been in her home since 1976, lived with her husband there and raised their children there; she said she wants to live there again. She is currently staying with her son and daughter-in-law.
“I never would have thought I would live with my son again,” Reeves said. “But, I am thankful to have him and thank God for all the support I am getting.”
Waugh is currently in the custody of the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office. He appeared in court via video Tuesday for a review hearing. Kate Bush, Waugh’s attorney, said she is awaiting professional appointments made through the jail and for Waugh’s mental state to stabilize before making any decisions on the case.
Assistant District Attorney Matt Tjosvold told Bush he was prepared to offer Waugh a plea bargain, but no other information was available regarding the potential deal.
Waugh’s next court appearance is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 31, at the Moffat County Courthouse.
Construction of a new terminal at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport has been delayed at least until next year.