ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington police are asking for help from the public in locating the man they believe to be responsible for killing an elderly woman after a morning carjacking and kidnapping. The woman has been identified as 83-year-old Leona Faye Swafford. She would have celebrated her 84th birthday on Friday.
Police became involved around 8:30 a.m. when they were called to a house in the 400 block of Sussex, between Matlock Road and Collins Street, just north on Interstate-20.
The address is where a witness told authorities he saw Swafford being approached by a man, as she pulled into her driveway. The witness said the man began assaulting Swafford as she sat inside her car and he ran over to help. Both men got into a struggle, but the suspect was able to get in the car, with Swafford still inside, and drive away.
Police searched for the suspect, kidnapped woman and vehicle to avail. Then, less than two hours later, the body of the woman was found between a strip shopping center and a residential area, in the 1900 block of Kimberly Drive. While the woman's exact cause of death isn't known, police say she had obvious, severe head trauma.
The area where the woman's body was found is about three miles from the house on Sussex.
About an hour after the woman's body was discovered, police located her vehicle, a silver-colored 2010 Lincoln MKZ in the parking lot of the Place on the Park Apartments, in the 200 block of East Pioneer. The suspect was not inside the vehicle and police performed a door-to-door search for hours.
Arlington police released an updated description of the suspect Tuesday evening, along with a composite sketch. He is described as a black man in his late 20s to late 30s, between 5'11" to 6' tall with short hair possibly styled in a half-inch afro. He has a muscular build, dark skin, and little to no facial hair. The suspect was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information about the suspect or the stolen vehicle is asked to call 911 or Arlington police at 817-575-8529, immediately. Oak Farms Dairy has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and grand jury indictment of the suspect.