LITHOPOLIS, Ohio – A teenager home alone pulled bed sheets over her head to hide from two intruders and sent a text message to her mother, whose 911 call led to the arrest of two suspects, authorities said Wednesday.
Lauren Durnbaugh, 13, didn't go to school Tuesday and was home when she heard someone open an unlocked rear door. She climbed into bed and hid under the covers as the suspects began ransacking rooms in the house about 15 miles southeast of Columbus, authorities said.
"OMG. They're in the house. I think we're being robbed," Durnbaugh said in a text message to her mother, Margo Roby, 53, who was working at a car dealership about 15 minutes away.
Racing home, Roby called 911. Back in the house, the intruders roamed from room to room, and at one point sat on Lauren's bed, police said.
"They didn't know she was there while they were going through stuff," Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said.
Roby arrived home and rammed her vehicle into the back of the suspects' car parked in the driveway, Phalen said.
One of the suspects, Jenna Marie Burns, came out of the house and Roby wrestled with her just as sheriff's deputies and the Lithopolis police chief arrived, Phalen said.
"I ran in to get my daughter. She was just shaking like a leaf," Roby said.
Jewelry, a laptop computer, a digital camera and a tool box were among items the intruders had set outside apparently to be carried away, Phalen said.
Roby said she blamed herself for failing to lock the door when she left for work. But she's proud of how her daughter handled herself.
"After we cried, she said, 'Wow, I can't believe I did that,"' Roby said.
Burns, 20, of Orient, and Jeremiah Lee Fyffe, 26, of Lockbourne, were arrested and charged with burglary. Burns also was charged with robbery. Both remained in a county jail Wednesday on $100,000 bond.
Burns' mother, Virginia Burns, said her daughter is only guilty of "bad association."
"I think that my daughter has made the wrong choice in people, and now she's going to pay the price for that association," she said. "I believe in my daughter. She is a goodhearted individual. But she has made a bad decision and she'll pay the price for it."
A phone listing for Fyffe could not be found.
If convicted, Burns faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison; Fyffe faces a maximum of eight years.