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Two teenagers were arrested Monday in the abduction of a Wooster woman whose body was found last week on a rural road four days and more than 80 miles from where she was last seen.

Robert Lee Smith Jr., 16, and Tacori D. Mackrell, 19, were arrested Monday evening and charged with kidnapping and theft of property in the abduction of Elvia Fragstein, 71. Their addresses were not available.

Though a news release said Fragstein's death has been ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner's office, investigators didn't charge either of the suspects with murder.

Smith will be charged as an adult, according to a news release from the Conway Police Department.

Fragstein's husband, Helmut Fragstein, reported her missing on July 7 after she did not return from a shopping trip in Conway, according to a news release from the Faulkner County sheriff's office.

Security cameras in the Conway Commons shopping center showed Fragstein's silver 2013 Honda CRV traveling quickly across the mall's parking lot and later captured the vehicle behind the shopping center.

Conway Police Department spokesman LaTresha Woodruff said it was impossible to determine which way the vehicle was traveling based on the security footage alone. Woodruff said the department has increased patrol around the shopping center since the abduction.

The vehicle, with license plate No. 453 TGO, has not been seen since it left the view of the security camera, according to a news release from the Jefferson County sheriff's office.

Four days later, a man traveling down a rural Jefferson County road saw a body lying near the roadway. Jefferson County Maj. Lafayette Woods, Jr., said there was no identification on the body.

Faulkner County investigators contacted the Jefferson County sheriff's office and positively identified the body as Fragstein's around 1 p.m. Friday.

A news release from the Conway Police Department, which aided in the investigation, said Faulkner County sheriff's investigators arrested the two teens Monday.

Spokesmen from the Jefferson County and Faulkner County sheriff's offices did not return calls throughout the day Monday.

Both suspects were transferred to the Faulkner County jail and will remain there until their initial court appearances, according to a Jefferson County news release. The Faulkner County sheriff's office will serve as the lead agency on the investigation.

Anyone with information about Fragstein's death is encouraged to contact the Faulkner County or Jefferson County sheriff's offices or the Conway Police Department.


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Metro on 07/17/2018

Print Headline: Teens held in abduction of woman found dead

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