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Colonial Parkway Murders 30 years later: Robin Edwards

“You can't believe the sound that a human person can make when that kind of shock hits,” Bonnie remembered. “It was just like somebody ripped my heart out.”

This week marks a somber anniversary -- It's been thirty years since the violent killings of Robin Edwards and David Knobling. Those names might sound familiar. Their deaths are part of four gruesome cases infamous in our area--the Colonial Parkway Murders.

Thirty years hasn't softened the blow of losing 14-year-old Robin Edwards in such a brutal and mysterious way. Virginia State Police explained this is an ongoing investigation. While there is no physical evidence to link all the murders, because they are similar, VSP is working together with the FBI.

Almost thirty years to the day Robin was last seen alive, her family is pleading for action on the case and for answers.

The saying goes "no parent should have to bury their child." It's just not supposed to happen that way. But for Robin Edwards' mom, Bonnie Dodson, the way it's not supposed to happen, is a reality she lives with every day.

“Maybe we'll never know who killed Robin,” Bonnie lamented.

During our interview, Janette Santiago sat close to her mother. The two literally leaned on each other as they talked about the death of their beloved daughter and sister.

“She missed out on her entire life,” Janette grieved.

She was just 19 when her younger sister was taken from them.

“I think about sometimes what kind of mom she would have been,” Janette said. “I think about the fact that she doesn't get to have children.”

Bonnie described even thirty years later, her last conversation with one of her children is fresh in her mind. It was on September 19, 1987, after Robin had gone out with David Knobling, his brother and cousin.

“I told her that she had to be home by 11 and she called me about a quarter after 11 and let me know that she was home safe,” Bonnie recalled.

But "home safe" for Robin wouldn't last. She snuck out of the house, the family now knows, to meet David Knobling. At first, Bonnie thought maybe her daughter had run away, as she had done in the past. But a couple days later David's truck was found abandoned and two days after that, the bodies of David and Robin were found at Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge in Isle of Wight. Both had been shot to death.

“You can't believe the sound that a human person can make when that kind of shock hits,” Bonnie remembered. “It was just like somebody ripped my heart out.”

As the anniversary of Robin's death draws near, they feel they are no closer to knowing what happened to her. The FBI told 13News Now it is investigating alongside Virginia State Police. The agencies are sharing information on this case, the killing of a couple the year before and two other double-homicides committed in the next two years. They are collectively known as the "Colonial Parkway Murders." None of them has been solved.

“If you dwell on it too much it's a burning anger but at the same time you have no direction for the anger,” Bonnie explained.

For direction, they look to investigators. They hope stories like this serve as a reminder to keep working the case. The search for answers thirty years later is still important to Robin's surviving family.

“We're still here,” Bonnie added. “We still care about it. It's a cold case, but it's not cold in our heart.”

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