Carjacking survivor honored for her bravery

Governor tribute given to Margaret E. Smith
Margaret E. Smith, right, receives a tribute during the Delaware Victims' Rights Task Force's 22nd Annual Tribute to Crime Victims and Survivors held May 1 in Dover. Presenting the tribute are Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf and Lewis D. Schiliro, secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. SOURCE SUBMITTED
May 3, 2013

Carjacking survivor Margaret E. Smith received a tribute May 1 from Delaware's top official.

Gov. Jack Markell signed a tribute to the 89-year-old Slaughter Neck woman who endured two days in a car trunk after giving two teen girls a ride.

"Margaret showed incredible courage after being locked in the trunk of her car for two days and demonstrated an innate ability to survive despite not having medication, food, or water for more than 48 hours," Markell wrote in the tribute. "Margaret also proved to have a will so strong that she was able to call out for help after being abandoned in a cemetery and then showed amazing strength and recuperative powers after being found by a Delaware State Trooper."

The tribute was presented to Smith by Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lewis D. Schiliro and Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita M. Landgraf at a ceremony honoring victims of crime May 1 in Dover.

Four teens now face charges in Sussex County Superior Court in connection with kidnapping Smith.

Junia McDonald, 14, and Jackeline Perez, 15, both of Milford approached Smith at a Milford convenience store and asked her for a ride, court records state. Smith obliged but the girls asked her to drive to a couple of locations before they wrestled the keys from her and put her in the car trunk. The girls later picked up Phillip L. Brewer, 17, and Rondaiges Harper, 17, both of Bridgeville. All four now face first-degree robbery, first-degree carjacking, second-degree kidnapping and second-degree conspiracy; all are in custody on bond.

A fifth teen, Deniaya Smith, 15, of Bridgeville, was also charged; earlier, she was released to the custody of a parent. Her case will not be tried in Superior Court, said Jason Miller, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office. Based on her age, the case would fall under Family Court and all proceedings there are private.



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