NEW ORLEANS — All four juvenile suspects in the deadly carjacking in Mid-City Monday have been arrested after some family members who recognized them from a surveillance photo alerted police and turned them in, according to NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
"It was an incredibly difficult decision for them," he said. "Within an hour of the video being released, we had parents at the police station."
Ferguson said the suspects are a 17-year-old male, and three 15-year-old females. All will face second-degree murder charges for their roles.
"They need to be in jail," he said. "When you commit a crime like this, you need to be locked up."
District Attorney Jason Williams also said the suspects need to be treated in accordance with the seriousness of the crime.
"What occurred to 73-year-old Linda Frickey was heinous and unthinkable. I can’t help, but think of my own mother and other elders in our community... any and all persons that the evidence shows participated in the murder of this elder will be prosecuted to the absolute fullest extent of the law."
Ferguson said the key to breaking the case was the release of the images of the suspects Monday night. He said that within an hour of the release, a parent of one of the 15-year-olds had contacted police and surrendered their daughter. He said a short time later, a parent of the 17-year-old male contacted police and officers went to a location where they found the male and a female suspect.
Ferguson said that he won't go into specifics, but that some of the suspects have been arrested previously.
He said that he doesn't know about a motive for the crime.
A source told Eyewitness News that detectives served at least one search warrant overnight at the home of one of the suspects and found clothes similar to those in the surveillance photos.
Mark Mascar, who stayed with the victim, identified as 73-year-old Linda Frickey, as she was dying, said a police detective told him three of the four suspects have been arrested and there’s a warrant out for the fourth.
There was no immediate word on the identities of those who were arrested but they were said to be juveniles. New Orleans Police are expected to signal a significant update to the story later this morning.
The shocking incident horrified onlookers as Frickey was carjacked, pulled from her vehicle but got stuck as the car drove off. She was dragged for what NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson called a "significant distance" and had her arm detach from her body.
The incident occurred near the intersection of North Cortez and Bienville around 1:30 p.m.
“I heard screaming, like ‘you're-going-to-die’ screaming,” Austin Northcott said. “Just not a normal scream.”
Neighbors, like Leanne and Mark Mascar, who saw the carjacking ran over to help.
“She was still breathing. She was very slowly breathing,” Leanne Mascar said.
Another witness, Todd Ecker, said he tried to call 9-1-1 for help, but he never reached anyone.
“Unfortunately, the phone rang for four minutes and 45 seconds before I hung up,” Ecker said. He added that another witness eventually got through, but Mascar said it took almost 15 minutes before paramedics arrived.
“She’s still breathing. I can feel a pulse. And the anger was like, ‘Where the hell is the ambulance?’” Mark Mascar said. “I kept hearing loads of cops show up, but no ambulance.”
When an ambulance finally showed up, paramedics pronounced the woman dead. The carjacking has left neighbors stunned.
“It was the most grotesque, surreal, horrific thing I’ve ever seen. Complete reckless abandonment. No regard for human life,” Ecker said.
“There is something really wrong when you have to walk outside your house, and that is part of your day - that some woman is getting dragged down the street,” Mascar said.
“It’s Monday at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. Everyone is out getting lunch, not worried about whether or not they’re going to live or not,” Northcott said.
Police later found the woman’s car abandoned about 15 blocks away, on the corner of Dumaine and North Dupre streets in the Bayou St. John neighborhood.