Manhunt Continues for Killer of Arlington Grandmother

Police continue search for woman's attacker

The manhunt for the man who killed an 83-year-old woman after abducting her and stealing her car continues.

Leona Faye Swafford, 83, was found dead outside another home a couple of hours after she was carjacked in her driveway Tuesday morning. Her vehicle was found in an apartment complex parking lot about an hour later.

At a news conference Wednesday with several of Swafford's family members, Arlington police stressed that time is critical. The more time that passes, the harder it will be to catch the killer.

Arlington police said investigators are still trying to determine a motive and if it was a random crime or something else. Police said they are withholding some information that only the killer would know in hopes of it leading to an arrest.

On Wednesday, officers and volunteers went door-to-door handing out fliers with witness descriptions of the man and a computerized composite sketch.

"We're hoping someone around here saw him, so we're hoping getting this picture out there will make somebody come forward and say, 'Yeah, I saw him,'" said police volunteer Emily Turner, who left fliers on the front doors of dozens of nearby homes.

Police said they do not know if the man is armed, but consider him dangerous. Investigators say they believe he is still in Arlington.

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.

Authorities are urging the public to look for someone who not only fits the description but exhibits abnormal behavior, such as acting nervous, unexpectedly leaving town, not showing up for work or showing great interest in news coverage of the case.

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

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. Tuesday.

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. Tuesday 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.

Police said Swafford sustained 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.

"Any lead is probably going to be a good lead," Turner said.

Oak Dairy Farms is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Police said they plan to pursue capital murder charges when they make an arrest.

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

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