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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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  • arkateacher54
    July 17, 2018 at 7 a.m.

    Kidnapping, robbery, murder - sounds like we need to put Old Sparky back into operation for these two worthless animals.

  • LR1955
    July 17, 2018 at 10:24 a.m.

    LE needs to do their investigation clean & complete, no deals by prosecution, no life term.....death penalty if guilty.
    There are too
    Many criminals & absconders running free & easy.

  • Jfish
    July 17, 2018 at 12:42 p.m.

    LR, if you remember a few years ago a little old lady around Fair Oaks entered her rural church building and a guy hiding there beat her to death with a metal cross. He got life, so I seriously doubt it will be any different for the perps that killed this innocent lady. This is our "justice" system where taxpayers keep violent animals alive until they die of natural causes. h--ps://katv.c-m/archive/man-convicted-of-capital-murder-for-killing-woman-with-cross

  • MaxCady
    July 17, 2018 at 3:46 p.m.

    Duh-cori deserves the needle since kidnapping was involved, but that's a question for the counselor on this board. The 16 year old is charged as an adult, but I'm not sure if he's eligible for LWO or death.