Arlington Carjacking, Abduction Victim Found Dead

$10,000 reward offered by Oak Farms Dairy

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Jun 5, 2013  |  Updated 10:15 AM CDT
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A carjacking in a North Texas neighborhood has left an elderly woman dead and police looking for the attacker.

Ben Russell, NBC 5 News

A carjacking in a North Texas neighborhood has left an elderly woman dead and police looking for the attacker.

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Woman Dies in Carjacking

A carjacking in a North Texas neighborhood has left an elderly woman dead and police looking for the attacker.

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As her family comes to grip with her death in a fatal carjacking, Leona Swafford's neighbors remember a sweet and loving grandmother.
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A manhunt is underway for the man who killed an 83-year-old woman after abducting her and stealing her car from her driveway Tuesday morning.

Leona Faye Swafford, 83, was found dead outside a home a couple of hours after she was carjacked.

According to police, a witness saw a man approach Swafford's vehicle as she pulled into her driveway on Sussex Drive at about 8:30 a.m.

Before she could exit the vehicle, the man and Swafford struggled, police said. The witness tried to intervene, but was unable to stop the attacker  from getting into her car and driving away, heading north on Center Street.

Police began searching for Swafford and her car, a 2010 Lincoln MKZ with Texas disabled license plate 2GYDW.

Swafford's body was found outside a home in the 1900 block of Kimberly Drive shortly before 10 a.m. after someone saw a body on the side of their home.

Arlington police found her car about an hour later in the parking lot of the Cedar Point Apartments at 2001 Elm Point Drive. The apartments are directly next door to the Arlington Police Department's East Patrol Station.

Arlington police describe the attacker as a black male in his late 20s to late 30s with a muscular build, standing 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall with short hair - possibly in a half-inch afro. He has little to no facial hair and was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt and blue jeans.

Arlington police released a composite sketch of the attacker based on witness statements. 

Police said they do not know if the man is armed, but they do consider him dangerous.

During a news conference at 2:30 p.m., police said their investigation is ongoing. Investigators are processing various crime scenes, including where the woman's vehicle was found, where the woman's body was recovered and where the carjacking and abduction took place. At this time, police said the investigation is in the very early stages and that they hope to learn more soon.

Police said Swafford had obvious trauma to her head. Arlington police and the Tarrant County medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.

Police said Swafford is related to a retired Arlington police officer who still works patrol part-time for the department.

A neighbor, who lived three doors down from Swafford for 40 years, said she could hear loud commotion shortly after the attack.

"I heard these screams [from inside] my house; that's loud screams," Janell Havarn said. "And it was the [victim's] daughter. I guess she had just tried to get her mother out of the car, and she lying on the driveway screaming. It's scary."

Anyone with information on the attacker or his location to please call 911. Anyone with information on Swafford's abduction is asked to call 817-575-8529. 

Johns Elementary School in Arlington, which is across the street from the Cedar Point Apartments, had a perimeter lock down for a short time Tuesday afternoon.

There is a $10,000 reward, posted by Oak Farms Dairy, for information that will help police catch and convict the person responsible for Swafford's death.

NBC 5's Shane Allen, Greg Janda and Ben Russell contributed to this report.

Editor's Note: A earlier version of this story provided a different description of the attacker provided by Arlington police. Police later said the man is described as a black male in his late 20s to late 30s with a muscular build, standing 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall with short hair - possibly in a half-inch afro. He has little to no facial hair and was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt and blue jeans.

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