Washington woman, 86, kidnapped by teenagers, escapes car trunk

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 04, 2015 2:58 PM

By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) - An 86-year-old Washington state woman forced into the trunk of her car and taken to Oregon by a trio of teenagers managed to escape when the alleged kidnappers stopped at a store, authorities said on Wednesday.

Hazel Abel, 86, said she had been abducted from her home on Monday evening in the south-central city of Kennewick, placed in the trunk of her car, and driven to Oregon, said Kevin McCary, a spokesman for the Benton County Sheriff's Office, in Washington.

Once the teens, two boys and a girl ages 14, 15, and 16, stopped at a store in Portland's Multnomah County, Abel managed to unlock the trunk from the inside and run for help, McCary said.

Abel declined medical treatment, and was cleared to return home, McCary said.

The teens, also from the Kennewick area in Washington, were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and reckless endangerment, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Alexander said. They were due to be arraigned on Wednesday, he said.

The local prosecutor's office will decide whether to file the charges. McCary said another possible charge could be conspiracy to commit murder, though the teens were not being held on that charge.

McCary declined to discuss the motivations behind the alleged abduction or the relationship between Abel and the teens.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sandra Maler)