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story.lead_photo.caption Robert Lee Smith and Tacori D. Mackrel

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.

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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.


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  • Foghorn
    July 18, 2018 at 12:32 p.m.

    I hate to say it but, I do hope even the 16yr old will be prosecuted as an adult. I can’t fathom what good would come from allowing someone who did something so heinous to go free simply because of his age. He is clearly a psychopath.

  • Zoesop
    July 18, 2018 at 1:32 p.m.

    wondering if titelitest has any intelligent comments... or even ones that do not immediately refer to race. You never see comments from him if the perpetrator is a non-minority.

  • Zoesop
    July 18, 2018 at 1:34 p.m.

    very sad, prayers to all those hurt by this terrible crime.

  • abb
    July 18, 2018 at 1:38 p.m.

    How can you stop crime? Easy: deal with the victims as quickly and violently as they dealt their victims. After a quick, fair trial, take them out back and put a bullet in their heads...then bill their parent. We could also do like the Israelis and demolish their home and cut the extended family off of all welfare and benefits to support the cost of keeping them in prison.

  • hah406
    July 18, 2018 at 2:14 p.m.

    abb, you must truly be an idiot. What separates us from the banana republics you describe is being a nation that follows the rule of law, the supreme law being the Constitution. There is no such thing as a quick, fair trial. Getting to the truth takes time, and everyone is guaranteed due process. If you had ever been wrongly accused of committing a crime, you would know this.
    We also don't hold others responsible for the crimes a person commits. If you go out and murder someone today, should we also execute your son or daughter? All of that said, these boys should never see the light of day again.

  • Lsull
    July 18, 2018 at 2:15 p.m.

    In Thailand they hang,em. They're ashes by morning.

  • Foghorn
    July 18, 2018 at 2:37 p.m.

    I do believe the parents of the 16yr old are more than complicit and should pay some very heavy price. It’s similar to the many school shooters whose parents allowed them access to guns and believed they would never abuse the access. They can’t be held criminally responsible but they should definitely be open to civil prosecution.

  • Lsull
    July 18, 2018 at 2:40 p.m.

    I think the biggest question is , are we actually safe in central Arkansas , don't think so.

  • titleist10
    July 18, 2018 at 2:55 p.m.

    Product of the hood no ethics no morals

  • eaglescout
    July 18, 2018 at 2:55 p.m.

    I agree with abb. Preying on the elderly makes this an exceptionally heinous crime. Can you imagine the sheer terror this poor woman went through from the point of abduction through the 80 mile trip down south and the final moments? How many times did she beg for mercy that fell on the deaf ears of these two fine citizens?