Funeral for woman found dead in Colorado lake to be held this weekend in Mechanicsville

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (SOCO/KMGH) — A funeral service is being held this weekend for a woman who grew up in the Richmond area who was recently found dead in a lake in Colorado.

According to Larimer County Coroner’s Office, Heather “Helena” Hoffman of Fort Collins was found dead in Sheldon Lake in Colorado about two weeks ago. She was the mother of a four-year-old child.

Police said that they arrested a man named Jeffrey Scott Etheridge, 27, in connection with her death and have charged him with first-degree murder. Police also reported that sexual assault charges against Etheridge are also pending.

An ABC affiliate spoke with Zach Denton, the father of Hoffman’s child.

“She was a mother, she was a friend. She was an artist and just a good all-around person,” Denton said.

Hoffman moved to Colorado from Sandston, Virginia in 2012 to be with Denton after meeting him online.

“Found out she was pregnant after two months of her being here, which is unexpected, but we kind of went from there.”

The couple eventually broke up and Hoffman moved to Denver before eventually moving back to Fort Collins where she worked the late night shift at a McDonalds.

It was after her shift when she was attacked. Police said that while they believe Etheridge is responsible for the attack, they don’t believe the two knew one another previously.

“Can’t say I could forgive him for it. I want to know why he did it and I want him to explain to me what made him feel he had the right to take my child’s mother away,” said Denton.

Funeral services for family and friends are being held Saturday at Mechanicsville Baptist Church.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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