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Teens stole woman’s car, cops say. Police found her decomposing body in her garage

Police say the body of Clara Jeanne Barna, 75, was found decomposing in her garage. Her car was missing.
Police say the body of Clara Jeanne Barna, 75, was found decomposing in her garage. Her car was missing. Screenshot from Twitter

As Clara Jeanne Barna, 75, walked into the garage of her Houston, Texas, home, two teens followed behind her, police said, reported the Houston Chronicle.

David Paul Jones and Teihjon Shannon, both 17, had their sights set on Barna’s 2003 Buick LeSabre, and they tried to steal it from the woman by grabbing her keys, police allege, the newspaper reported.

When Jones got into the car, police said, he backed it out of the driveway while Shannon was holding Barna, running over both her and the suspect, police said, KPRC reported.

The crash wounded Shannon in his leg, authorities said. But Barna suffered more severe injuries, including a fractured skull and a broken back, KPRC reported. Shannon dragged Barna back into the garage, police said. Then he and Jones allegedly took off in the Buick, leaving Barna to die, the news station said.

On Friday night, neighbors reported strange smells coming from Barna’s home, ABC 13 reported. Responding officers found Barna’s body decomposing in her garage, the news station said. Her car was missing, police said.

Surveillance video showed two males walk into a Denny’s restaurant near Barna's home two days earlier after parking the same Buick at the establishment, ABC 13 reported. They ordered about $50 worth of food and then tried to dine and dash, employees told the news station.

Surveillance Video-Dine and Dash.jpg
Surveillance video shows two males walk into a Denny's restaurant two days before a woman's body was found in her garage. ABC 13

Police say the manager wrote down the Buick’s license plate number, which became a “valuable clue” in the case, the Chronicle reported. The newspaper says it’s unclear whether the manager called the cops. The manager told ABC 13 the teens begged him not to, even offering him a cellphone to keep quiet.

Investigators caught up with Jones on Saturday and arrested him in Barna’s death after he allegedly confessed to playing a role in it, KPRC reported. Shannon was apprehended Monday and also confessed, police say, according to the news station.

The teens are charged with capital murder, ABC 13 reported.

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