On February 18, Denver serial rapist Brent J. Brents nearly beat 33-year-old Tiffany Engle to death. She was his last victim—and she is also my friend.
The arrangement took her away from her friends and the city she loved just when she could finally enjoy them again, but with no other option the 33-year-old reluctantly went home with her family. Her saving grace was that her cranioplasty, the surgery to replace the missing bone flap, was scheduled for June 3 back at Denver Health. Tiffany told herself that once she got back to Denver she wouldn't be leaving again.
Monday morning, May 2
Nearly six weeks after his initial arrest, Brent J. Brents listened to five police detectives at a preliminary hearing as they described the gruesome details of his tear through Denver. The judge found probable cause to bind the case over into district court for an arraignment on May 20. The case was assigned to Denver District Court, Division 3. On May 19, Brents' defense attorneys as well as the prosecution asked the judge to postpone the May 20 arraignment. After three more postponements, the judge set a firm date of July 6 for Brents' arraignment.
Sunday, June 26
Three weeks after Denver Health doctors replaced Tiffany's missing skull piece, on a hot, sunny day, I'm driving over to help Tiffany move into her new apartment in the Park Hill neighborhood. I pull up and watch for a moment as Tiffany walks down the truck ramp carrying a box full of books. I flash back to when Tiffany was in her wheelchair, then using a walker, and finally-after more than six weeks-walking on her own. She's wearing a little green T-shirt, and I can see she's gained some weight back-she says too much-and with her skull back in one piece the crater on the side of her head is gone. She cut off the long side of her hair to match the shaved side. It's an adorable pixie cut that suits her just fine, but it's the fact that I can't see her incision anymore that makes me smile.