The Delaware State Police arrested five teenagers Wednesday, all of Milford or Bridgeville, in connection with the abduction of an 89-year-old Lincoln woman.
On Tuesday, at around 9 p.m., troopers responded to the 22000 block of Slaughter Neck Road, Lincoln, where they spoke with a relative of Margaret E. Smith, who was reporting her missing, Delaware State Police spokesman Gary Fournier said.
Information was received that she had not been seen or heard from since around 11 a.m., that morning, when a neighbor saw her getting into her car and leaving the residence. Relatives grew concerned due to her not contacting anyone and the fact that she had medical conditions that required medication, Fournier said. A Gold Alert was issued that same evening with the victim's vehicle description along with information containing her physical depiction.
At 8:20 a.m., Wednesday, troopers were dispatched to the area of a cemetery located on Calvary Road off King Road east of Seaford for a report of an elderly woman wandering around the graves. Margaret E. Smith was contacted and appeared to be confused and suffering from exposure. Her automobile was nowhere around. She was immediately transported by the trooper to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released, Fournier said.
Later that evening, the victim responded with relatives to Troop 4 in Georgetown, where she was interviewed by detectives about the incident. As she was giving her account of the event, troopers in Bridgeville were conducting a traffic stop on the victim's car on Chaplains Chapel Road.
The driver of the vehicle, Junia McDonald, 14 of Milford, along with Jackeline Perez, 15 of Milford, Deniaya Smith, 15 of Bridgeville, Phillip Brewer, 17 of Bridgeville and Rondaiges Harper, 17 of Bridgeville, were all taken into custody without incident, Fournier said.
It was determined through interviews that on Monday the victim was at the Chicken Man Convenience Store in Milford when she was approached by two females. The girls, who were later identified as McDonald and Perez, asked for a ride to the Lincoln area and the victim agreed.
When they arrived at a residence, the two girls demanded the victim's keys and a struggle ensued between the victim and the girls when Margaret E. Smith refused to hand them over. Once in possession of the keys, the girls then ordered the victim out of the car and forced her into the trunk of the car before driving off with her inside. At one point during the kidnapping, the two girls demanded money from the victim before removing more than $500 from her coat pocket. After almost two days of being trapped in the truck, the girls then dropped her off at the cemetery where she was located on Wednesday morning by a visitor on the grounds.
All five teenagers were transported back to Troop 4 where they were processed.
McDonald and Perez were both charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree carjacking, second-degree kidnapping and second-degree conspiracy and were both placed in the custody of the Stevenson House Detention Center on $122,000 cash-only bond.
Harper and Brewer were charged with second-degree kidnapping, receiving stolen property and second-degree conspiracy and were both incarcerated at the Stevenson House on $27,000 secured bond.
Deniaya E. Smith was charged with receiving stolen property and second-degree conspiracy and is being held on $2,000 secured bond. A photo of Deniaya E. Smith was unavailable, police said.