Kidnapping Death Underscores Consequences of Risky Choices
Byline: Chuck Goudie
There are all kinds of ways that you can avoid becoming the victim of a violent crime.
For example, don't borrow money from a loan shark. Don't pick up a prostitute. Don't walk through a bad neighborhood while draped in diamond jewelry. Don't stiff a bookmaker. Don't leave the keys in your car. Don't get mixed up with people who sell drugs.
But don't take my word for it.
If David Steeves could, he'd tell you himself.
A month ago, Steeves probably considered himself as invincible as any other 19-year-old man.
But then he took one of those risks that increase the chance that you will be robbed, beaten up ... or worse.
Of course, sometimes people become crime victims without engaging in any risky behavior, while just going about their business.
They are known as innocent victims.
For most of last week, Steeves was thought to be such an innocent victim. It started on April 8, when the Elgin teenager called 911 claiming that he was in the trunk of a car and had been kidnapped.
Steeves cried out for help, and then the line was dead, Elgin police said.
There was a frantic search for the young man in the days that followed. It was all over the newspapers and reported extensively on TV and radio.
People talked about the sad, outrageous story on buses and street corners and in coffee shops and wondered how such a thing could happen.
Why would a good kid, a student at Elgin Community College who was minding his own business on a Friday night, suddenly be forced into the back of his mother's car that he was driving and abducted?
The morning after Steeves' cell phone call for help, one of his size 13 gym shoes was found on an Elgin driveway. Things weren't looking good. The mystery grew, and so did the news coverage.
The police figured it had started as a robbery and turned into abduction. Publicly, they were hoping to find Steeves alive. Privately, they knew he was probably dead.
On Thursday, the teenager's body was found on the southeast side of Rockford. He was dead in the trunk of his mother's car. He had been shot twice, in the leg and neck.
Authorities said he died instantly. Still, the mystery of how he got there, why and who was behind it continued.
By early Friday, two men were in custody and some answers started to take shape.
The suspects, Robert Guyton, 24, and Armin Henderson, 25, both had criminal records. That was no surprise; people don't just wake up in the morning and decide to kidnap somebody off the street.
Not only were both of the suspects convicted criminals, they were also fugitives from the law. …