Mother: ‘I just wish God would take him’ |

Mother: ‘I just wish God would take him’

Courtesy Eagle County Sheriff's OfficeBrad Quale, 43, had gunshot wounds to his chest when he was found next this burned truck north of Wolcott, Feb. 7.

J.K. Perry

EAGLE COUNTY ” For the past eight years, Brad Quale kept the depression caused by a bipolar disorder at bay, his mother, Carol Quale said, until he began to withdraw from his family this summer and finally tried to commit suicide outside Wolcott Feb. 7.

Brad Quale, 43, suffered gunshot wounds to the chest and severe burns to his neck and head before being found by a woman beside his burning truck in a remote area north of Wolcott.

“I’m sure that Brad did that to himself,” said Carol Quale of Stoughton, Wis.

He remained in critical condition Friday at Denver General Hospital.

Eagle County Sheriff’s investigators suspect Brad Quale shot himself with a shotgun, but deputies are not ruling out any other possibilities until they speak with him. Quale is also suspected of setting fire to the truck while he was inside, Detective Lt. Mike McWilliam said.

Failed relationship

The decline in Brad Quale’s health could be due to disappointment from a failed relationship with a girlfriend, something that has happened in the past, Carol Quale said.

“Something bad always happens when he’s with a woman,” she said.

Friends and other sources said Brad Quale moved to Colorado in January with an Arizona woman he met while tending a horse in Wisconsin.

Brad Quale grew up and lived off and on in Stoughton ” outside Madison, Wis. ” where he operated a horse-shoeing business. The woman he met last year while living there was married to Jim Brendig of Milton, Wis., just 21 miles from Stoughton.

The woman left Brendig for Brad Quale, Brendig said. The woman could not be reached for comment.

The relationship later dissolved after moving to Colorado, shortly before the Wolcott incident, McWilliam said.

Quale in Colorado

At times during his life, Quale lived in Eagle and Summit counties, taking odd jobs.

“He wanted to go back and live in Colorado because he said life was much better for him there than it was for him here,” his mother said.

Quale told his brother weeks before the Wolcott incident that he planned to return to Wisconsin, she said. But his whereabouts since returning to Colorado are a mystery.

“He didn’t really have anything hard and solid where he was staying,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Andree said.

Carol Quale said she doesn’t know where he was living or working before Feb. 7.

“I’d like to know where he was living and what happened all of the sudden,” she said. “We’d like to know who he was with that they would have some information what caused him to do that.”

He told her he was living with friends in Copper Mountain or Avon, but both turned out to be false.

Five years ago, Quale had lived and worked in stables with Leslie Miller at Copper Mountain. Miller invited him to stay when he returned in January, although he never did, she said. Miller said her friend is a “good guy but I don’t know what was truth and what wasn’t with him.”

Andree said at the time of the Wolcott incident, Quale was working as a bus driver in Cordillera. Crystal Mallory ” an employee at The Lodge at Cordillera who Carol Quale said her son worked with ” refused to talk about him.

In critical condition

Now Brad Quale lays heavily sedated in a hospital bed after undergoing a fourth surgery Thursday, this time to insert a feeding tube and remove dead skin and bone.

“I have to be truthful and say I wish God would just take him,” Carol Quale said.

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or

Vail, Colorado

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