Woman admits to stealing car with 91-year old grandmother still inside

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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI)-An Arnold, MO woman is now charged in connection with the kidnapping of a 91-year old grandmother from a hospital parking lot. It happened on September 13, 2014, at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center in Richmond Heights. Police say the suspect posed as a valet parking attendant and stole a car with the elderly woman inside.

Dewanda Marion is the victim’s granddaughter. Marion said, “It was not 15 minutes that I came back down and my car was gone and my grandmother was gone.”

Her grandmother is Essie Sims, who turns 92 later this month.

Marion says she went to St. Mary’s Health Center where she was approached by 38-year old Roberta Terri Hamilton who claimed to be a valet parking attendant. Marion said she planned a quick visit and left her grandma in the car, a 2013 Dodge Charger.  Minutes later she returned to find both the car and Sims missing.

Police said Hamilton dumped off the grandmother at this service station at Kingshighway and Manchester.  Marion said a woman on a Bi-state bus spotted Sims struggling to walk with her cane, jumped off the bus and used Sims’ cellphone to alert Marion to her grandmother’s whereabouts. By the time Marion showed up the Good Samaritan was gone.

Marion said, “I wish I knew who this lady was so I could tell her thank you.”

Since the ordeal in September, Essie Sims’ health has worsened and she’s now in hospital.

Police stated Hamilton pulled the same valet scam at the same hospital a month earlier. Hamilton admitted to both thefts and is charged with two counts of stealing a motor vehicle and one count of felonious restraint.

“I really think she should suffer,” said Marion. “I really think she should know and I really wish she could see what’s she’s done to my grandmother.”

SSM said they have increased security and believe the area is secure with their own staff, many cameras, and they work closely with local police.  Marion’s car was returned but damaged.