Arkansas grandmothers: One in bomb plot, one in murder-suicide
Today we have not one but two stories involving grandmothers, and one is stranger than the next. Did we mention that both grandmas are from Arkansas? Yep.
First up: A search is underway for a man who forced 73-year-old Betty Davis to walk into an Arvest Bank branch in Fayetteville, Ark., and demand money. The suspect had taped a device -- he said it was a bomb -- to her ankle and threatened to harm her if she didn't do what he said.
"He showed her a little detonator and said, 'All I have to do is push this button, and it will blow you up,' " the victim's granddaughter, Carly Geanolus, told KHBS-TV. Davis walked into the bank at about 10:30 a.m. and told bank employees about the device. The bank was evacuated, and the bomb squad removed the device. No one was injured.
Davis told police that she and her husband, Dean Davis, were being held hostage at their Washington County home by the man. The husband was found tied up at the home. It was not immediately clear whether the device was actually dangerous.
Then there's the case of Janice Robbins, 63, who reportedly stabbed her 7-year-old granddaughter in the chest and then set their Central Arkansas home on fire as part of a murder-suicide.
Robbins left a suicide note that said she did not want to leave her granddaughter, Abby, behind. Robbins had assumed responsibility for the girl after her son's death in Iraq.
Faulkner County Coroner Patrick F. Moore told the Associated Press that the smoke from the fire, not the single stab wound, ultimately killed the girl, as well as her grandmother. "We can’t speculate at this point whether or not they were conscious ... but we do know they were alive during the time of the fire," he told the news service.
The little girl's father -- and Robbins' son -- was Army Staff Sgt. William T. "Terry" Robbins. He was shot and killed by a fellow soldier in Iraq in 2005 in a dispute over alcohol, according to the AP. Robbins then assumed care of the girl.
There were no immediate signs that Robbins suffered financial problems, although others said she struggled with depression in the wake of her son's death. She was a retired Army nurse, and reportedly had another son who died several years ago, the AP reported.
-- Rene Lynch