DOVER, Del. – Delaware State Police have charged five teenagers in the carjacking and kidnapping of an 89-year-old Lincoln woman.
Police said Thursday that Margaret E. Smith was locked in the trunk of her car for almost two days before being dumped at a cemetery east of Seaford, where she was found Wednesday morning wandering around the graves. Smith was taken to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Police said that as Smith was being interviewed by investigators in Georgetown on Wednesday evening, troopers spotted her car being driven in Bridgeville and took the teenagers into custody after running a license check and learning that the car had been stolen.
Two girls, ages 14 and 15, were detained on $122,000 cash bonds after being charged with robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and conspiracy.
Two boys, both age 17, were being held on $27,000 secured bond after being charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and receiving stolen property.
A 15-year-old girl who was a passenger in the stolen car, which was being driven by the 14-year-old, was charged with receiving stolen property and conspiracy and was being held on $2,000 secured bond.
Authorities had issued a Gold Alert for Smith after relatives reported her missing Tuesday night. She had last been seen getting into her car around 11 a.m. that day.
Investigators said Smith's ordeal began after two girls approached her at the Chicken Man convenience store in Milford and asked for a ride to the Lincoln area.
Smith agreed to give the girls a ride, but when they arrived at a residence, they demanded her car keys, then forced her into the trunk of the car before driving off. They later took more than $500 from her coat pocket.
At some point, the two girls picked up the 17-year-old boys and showed them that Smith was in the trunk.
After spending almost two days trapped in the trunk, Smith was dropped off at the cemetery, police said.