By Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 15, 2008
A 61-year-old woman who apparently was abducted Saturday at Springfield Mall was a backseat passenger in her car when the four-door Saturn, being driven erratically at a high speed by one of her two assailants, went out of control and slammed into trees in Prince William County, police said yesterday.
First Sgt. Kim Chinn, a county police spokeswoman, said the Saturn was not being chased when the crash occurred shortly after 3 p.m. in the Woodbridge area, killing Barbara J. "Bobbi" Bosworth, an accounting firm receptionist who lived in Alexandria with her husband of 24 years. The suspects, who might have used a fake gun to abduct Bosworth, were hospitalized last night in critical condition, police said.
Chinn said county police obtained a warrant yesterday for one suspect. She said Keith A. Baskerville, 19, of the 14500 block of Danville Road in Woodbridge was charged in the warrants with carjacking and abduction with intent to extort. Police said they thought Baskerville was driving at the time of the crash.
No charges have been filed against the other suspect, and his name was not made public.
"It's like the most horrible thing any of us ever heard of," a friend of the victim said yesterday. Speaking on the condition of anonymity for privacy reasons, the friend said: "The horror story in this is, there's nothing she did wrong."
As police in Prince William and Fairfax counties continued investigating, more details emerged.
After apparently being abducted at the mall in Fairfax County, where she had gone alone to shop, Bosworth was taken about 18 miles south to the PDQ Mart in the 15000 block of Cardinal Drive in the Woodbridge area, police said. They said the suspects apparently planned to get money from her bank account. Chinn said police are trying to determine whether they stopped anywhere else.
At some point, Chinn said, Bosworth managed to call her husband, Thomas Bosworth, and "indicated something was wrong." Thomas Bosworth called Fairfax County police to report her missing under suspicious circumstances, Chinn said.
A manager of the PDQ Mart, Karnail Sindh, said Barbara Bosworth and one suspect came to a cash register with two six-packs of beer. When Bosworth took out her bank card to pay, Sindh said, she told the cashier that she wanted to get cash back. But the store does not give cash back on bank card purchases, Sindh said.
Chin said a man and woman in the store thought the three looked suspicious together and feared that Bosworth was in trouble. The man, pretending to know her, walked up and embraced her, asking in a whisper if she was all right, Chinn said. Bosworth said she needed help.
After the three left the store with the beer, one of the men returned with Bosworth and stood beside her as she withdrew money from an ATM, security video showed.
Sindh and Chinn said that the assailants drove away, with Bosworth in the backseat with one of the suspects. The man who had embraced her followed the Saturn in his vehicle, while the woman stayed behind. "She wants to use the business phone," Sindh recalled. "She wants to call the police. She said: 'I need to call the police. I need to call the police.' " So Sindh gave her the store's phone.
Within minutes, Chinn said, police issued a lookout for the burgundy Saturn. She said a police officer who was headed west on Cardinal Drive, toward the store, saw it speed past, in the opposite direction. Whether the suspect was driving fast because of what happened at the store is unclear, Chinn said.
"The Saturn was already flying when the officer saw it," she said. "Because the Saturn went so fast, this guy [from the store] would not drive like that to keep up. The Saturn was weaving in and out of traffic. When the officer saw it, he told me it looked to him like they were losing control on the road, swerving from lane to lane."
By the time the officer caught up, Chinn said, the crash had occurred, about 3 1/2 miles east of the store, where Cardinal Drive becomes Neabsco Road, at Indus Drive. Police said they found a fake gun at the crash scene.
Bosworth, who had no children, lived on White Post Court with her husband and a dog that the couple had recently adopted from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, the friend said. An Arlington County native and a Wakefield High School graduate, she worked for about 10 years at the Alexandria accounting firm Kositzka, Wicks and Co., the friend said. Her father, John Spinks, is a retired top official with the Arlington Fire Department.
"She was just very involved in everything having to do with nature," the friend said. "She was an outstanding gardener. And every day, she and her husband would walk the dog in Ben Brenman Park. . . . She was a wonderful neighbor and a very good friend. That's what she was known as."
Staff writer Martin Weil contributed to this report.