Leads flood in as ME releases cause of death for slain Arlington grandmother

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 6 at 7:55 PM

ARLINGTON –– The medical examiner ruled Thursday that the Arlington grandmother killed during a carjacking early this week was shot in addition to suffering head injuries.

When Leona Swafford, 83, was found, police said her body showed signs of trauma to her head. On Thursday, the autopsy report, performed by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner, reveals that she was also shot. As expected, her death has been classified as a homicide.

On Tuesday, a man approached Swafford in her driveway as she was getting out of her Lincoln MZK sedan. A neighbor called police and attempted to intervene but was overpowered. The man sped off with Swafford inside.

Soon, police found the elderly woman's body dumped beside a home in the 1900 block of Kimberly Dr., about three miles from where she was abducted. The car was found nearby at an apartment complex in the 2000 block of Elm Point. 

Police have canvassed the areas near each crime scene, handing out bulletins featuring the suspect's description in various languages. 

Witnesses described the carjacker as a black man in his late 20s to late 30s, has a muscular build, dark skin, little-to-no facial hair, is between 5-foot-11 and 6-feet tall, with short hair, possibly styled in a half-inch afro.

Police are following up on 80 tips and leads in the murder. Elderly residents living in the area say it's the type of shocking incident that could happen to anyone a little older.

"It really is disturbing; to think, I'm also 83," said Tom Templin, who has lived off Kimberly for more than three decades.

Police told News 8 on Thursday they were targeting specifics addresses, or homes, after receiving the tips.

They were considering doing another door-to-door effort on Thursday night or Friday, and covering a wider area, according to spokeswoman Tiara Richard.

Oak Farms Dairy has issued a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment in the case. Anyone with tips can call 817.575.8529 or the Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817.469.8477. 

Email tunger@wfaa.com

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