An 86-year-old Washington woman has been left in tears, wondering why her great-grandson would ever help two others abduct her.
Kennewick native Hazel Louise Abel told a Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputy that she answered a knock on her door Monday night around 8:00 p.m. when “someone suddenly threw what she believed to be dirt into her face and quickly covered her eyes and mouth with their hands.”
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Court documents indicate that moments later she was pushed to the ground, straddled and yelled at to be quiet. Her hands were bound, an object stuffed in her mouth and a hood placed over her head to obstruct her vision.
Then she was stuffed in the trunk of her own car.
“I figured they would kill me before they would let me go,” Abel explained to KEPR.
Abel said she heard a male and female voice during the drive but did not recognize them. She was able to untie herself when the vehicle stopped in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Wood Village – an area just east of Portland, Oregon. She felt around for something that could help her and managed to “pull a cord that unlatched the trunk” at approximately 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.
She flagged a store employee down and managed to escape uninjured.
“I don’t know how you could do that to me,” Abel told KPTV. “We are family.”
Officers used Wal-Mart’s surveillance cameras to help identify three suspects – two teenage boys and one teen girl – who had fled the store when they saw Abel escape. They were apprehended at a gas station later Tuesday.
Abel was shocked to learn her great-grandson, 16-year-old Dylan Martin, was included in the group.
“I’ll never accept it or understand it or anything,” Abel said, holding back tears. Martin allegedly visited with her at her home a week before the incident and stole $60 (USD).
“If I would see him, I don’t know what I would do,” she continued. “I know my instinct would be to put my arms around him and cry.”
Abel’s great-grandson later admitted to police that he and Billy Joseph Underwood, 15, “had planned on knocking Abel out, killing her, putting her body in the trunk of her car, and then disposing of the body by the burning car.”
Martin and Underwood were publicly identified after the district attorney confirmed both are being charged as adults. A 14-year-old girl faces lesser charges as a juvenile.
Both Martin and Underwood face two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of second-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a vehicle and recklessly endangering another person.