Last month, an Orlando, Florida man was seriously injured during a home invasion robbery. Now, it appears his own daughter was involved in the plot.
In late October, a stranger knocked on 68-year-old Wayne Smalley’s front door. His wife answered and allowed the man on the other side to use their cordless phone. He claimed his car broke down. After the call, he handed the phone back and left. A few hours later, the man returned and this time forced his way inside the home.
A second assailant also entered the house and together the two bound Smalley, his wife and a third person inside the home with duct tape. During the confrontation, Smalley took a blow to the chest that caused in internal bleeding and later required emergency surgery.
With the residents tied up, the criminals stole the keys to the victims’ car, loaded it with valuables from inside the home and took off.
The victims provided police with suspect descriptions from which composite sketches were created and circulated through the media. This ended up being the key to catching the criminals and connecting Smalley’s estranged daughter, Mary Ellen Christensen, to the crime.
Christensen’s mother recognized one of the men in the sketches as a friend of her daughter and immediately
Under interrogation, Christensen admitted to driving the two men to her father’s home and then helping the suspects evade Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies.
All three members of the group now face charges including home invasion robbery and grand theft as well as attempted second degree murder for the life threatening injuries Christensen’s father sustained.
Without police composite sketches, it may have been difficult to identify the suspects in this case. A home security camera system would have been helpful in capturing footage of the assailants to aid in identification
Home invasions are increasingly common in the Orlando area. Last week, a home invasion robbery ended in a crash that left over 1000 residents without power.