A friend of a 75-year-old woman who investigators say was severely beaten, tied up, abducted from her home and left in her own car for two days, describes her as friendly and loving.
"She's just a jolly, wonderful person," Lucia Bailey said. "Oh she's just as friendly as can be. She just always has a smile on her face, always wanting to know how everybody is."
One of the kidnappers cleaned the victim’s carpets at her home on Resmar Place in unincorporated La Mesa last week, according to investigators. The man allegedly returned to the home on Monday, crying and saying he had broken up with his girlfriend. Police said the victim, who lives alone, let him into her house, where he attacked her, punching and choking her until she was unconscious. He then bound her with duct tape and put her in the trunk of her Dodge Magnum wagon.
When the victim woke up, two other suspects were also in the vehicle. The victim chewed through the duct tape and screamed for help while they were at a gas station, to no avail. The kidnappers then parked the car for the night, leaving the woman inside. The next day, the kidnappers returned, then drove around the County with the woman in the trunk.
Police said they tried to pull over the wagon for running a red light on Tangerine Street in El Cajon shortly after midnight Wednesday, but the driver refused to yield and eventually managed to elude officers. Shortly afterward, officers spotted the vehicle with the crooks inside, who fled on foot. Luis Osbourne, 18, was taken into custody immediately, Jeffrey Nelson, 19 and Antoinette Baker, 19, were arrested after a manhunt in the area.
Deputies found the elderly woman tied up in the back of the car.
“This is highly unusual ... especially for the amount of time that we’re looking at here -- with several days in one vehicle, that’s a bit unusual, and for someone who’s 75,” Sgt. Mark Varnau said.
A shovel was found in the back of the car, but investigators say they’re not jumping to any conclusions.
“You could infer that that’s there for some particular reason other than gardening, but it may simply belong to the victim,” Varnau said.
The victim was hospitalized. Varnau called her a fighter.
Investigators say the motive was financial gain.