Cold Case Gets Attention: 83-Year-Old Carjacked and Killed

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Arlington, TX–A cold case in Arlington is thawing out.

83-year-old Leona Swafford was carjacked in her own driveway on Sussex Drive—one year ago.

“I had talked to her, just minutes prior,” Swafford’s son-in-law, Ray Mitchell said.  “Even though the house is empty, when I’m on patrol, I stop by everyday.”  “To whomever knows who did this to my mother, speak up,” son, Larry Carson, added.

Neighbors tried to stop the suspect, but he sped off with Swafford in the car. He shot and killed the mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and dumped her body.  Her car was found at a nearby apartment complex.

“This person will be caught, but that is not our focus,” her eldest daughter, Judy Mitchell said.  “Our focus is honoring and remembering our mother.”

Arlington Police Department is giving this case new life—they dedicated a tree in her memory, and Saturday, they’re hitting the streets to check for new leads. The tears don’t cloud memories of the good times.

“I was in the army, I had no money, Leona and I went down to the local jeweler and she bought the ring for me,” Ray Mitchell reflected.  “Now what kind of future mother and law would go buy the ring for ya? I don’t know if she was trying to get rid of Judy,” he laughed.

There is a $10,000 reward, but after hundreds of leads, police have not found the suspect.

“It’s frustrating,” Detective Ben Lopez said. “[She] hadn’t done anything to anyone, and this tragic murder happened to her.”