Two teenagers previously arrested in a central Arkansas woman’s abduction now face capital murder charges in her killing, authorities said.
Robert Lee Smith Jr., 16, and Tacori D. Mackrell, 18, were set to go before a judge in Faulkner County on Wednesday morning, according to a news release from the county’s sheriff’s office.
Smith and Mackrell are being charged as adults.
The pair initially faced kidnapping and theft of property charges in the abduction of 71-year-old Wooster resident Elvia Fragstein, whose body was found July 11 along Gibb Anderson Road in a rural area south of Pine Bluff — four days after she was reported missing.
They were arrested on Monday. Additional capital murder charges were added for Smith and Mackrell on Wednesday, the release states.
Fragstein’s husband, Helmut, notified police July 7 when his wife didn’t return from a shopping trip at the Conway Commons shopping center.
The 71-year-old was seen in surveillance footage shortly after 3:40 p.m. that day checking out at T.J. Maxx and leaving the store. Her silver Honda CR-V was later observed on camera traveling at a “high rate of speed” through the center’s parking lot toward Target, according to authorities.
Fragstein's SUV wasn't seen again until Tuesday morning, when officers found it burned and abandoned in the 300 block of North Elm Street in Pine Bluff. A handout photo from the Jefferson County sheriff’s office showed the SUV’s tires melted and surrounding grass blackened.
Additional information regarding the Fragstein death investigation — including any possible motive and details of how investigator’s found her Honda — hasn’t been released.