In the News
Kidnapped and Beaten Grandma Remains Positive
She opened her heart to an undeserving stranger, but hasn’t lost her faith
-April Daniels Hussar
How does a 75-year-old grandma get kidnapped from her own home, brutally beaten, locked in the trunk of her own car … and still seem to maintain a belief in the basic goodness of humanity?
It’s hard to understand, but that’s exactly what happened to Sandy Vinge, a San Diego mother of three and grandmother of two.
As reported on The Today Show this morning, Vinge became the victim of three brutal teenagers, and probably would have died in their hands had a sheriff not come to her rescue – 26 hours after her ordeal began.
It started when Jeffrey Edward Nelson, 19, knocked on Vinge’s door last Monday and offered to clean her carpets for free. She ended up buying a $2,000 vacuum cleaner from him. Nelson returned that evening, claiming his girlfriend kicked him out of the house and asked if he could use Vinge’s phone. The unsuspecting lady let him in, at which point he strangled her into unconsciousness, bound her with duct tape and stuffed her in the trunk of her Dodge Magnum station wagon. “They stole me in my own car,” she said. “That was awful.”
Nelson then met up with two of his cronies, Luis Lomeli Osborne, 18, and Antoinette Marie Baker, 18, for a 26-hour joy ride paid for with Vinge’s cash and credit cards. They beat Vinge, punching her in the face, and refused her water. Vinge told The Today Show that she began to pray to God to either save her or let her die. She prayed to her recently deceased husband, to talk to God on her behalf.
Vinge believes her prayers were answered when a sheriff pulled the car over for a traffic violation and rescued her from the nightmarish ordeal.
Vinge told Matt Lauer on The Today Show:
“There’s nothing I can do about what happened. I have to be positive, because life goes on.”
When Lauer asked Vinge if she would ever open the door to a stranger again, she replied:
“No, I don’t think so,” she said with a big smile. “There’s not that many people out there like this. I’ll probably be afraid – even now, when the doorbell rings, I get a little scared even [though] I have my big old boy with me. I don’t think I’ll do that again, Matt.”