The city logged 26 murders, well above its historical average for January—a trend that put police Commissioner Anthony Batts and his plan for this police department in focus.
STEVENSVILLE, Md. - Robin Pope has been missing for two weeks. She mysteriously disappeared March first and the case has shaken her small community. But no one is feeling the impact more than Pope's two daughters, who sat down with us today at Hemingway's to talk about new evidence in the case and a potential reward they hope will stir up tips.
Rachael Pope and Priscilla Hastings live on opposite coasts, more than 2,000 miles, but it took just one phone call to bring them together in Maryland. Hastings says, "I immediately knew something was wrong."
The girl's mother, 51-year-old Robin Pope, had gone missing from Kent Island. She was last seen days ago after vanishing, leaving behind her beloved dog, Bella, and her belongings. Rachael Pope knew the items left behind were troubling, saying, "As soon as we realized she left her cellphone, her ID, her purse, all of her money and some of her medication, that's when we knew she wouldn't just leave and go on vacation and come back because those are things she needs on a daily basis."
And now as the days pass, the concern grows for Robin's children. Her daughters say they're trying to keep Rob's face fresh in peoples' minds as they keep the worst thoughts from theirs. Hastings says she is struggling, "You wake up every morning realizing all over again that it is real."
It is a real nightmare this family is living as they wait for answers. So far investigators don't have many to provide. State Police spokesman Greg Shipley says crews hit the water again Wednesday in a boat provided by the Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff. But Shipley says they still have no idea what happened to Pope or where she is.
Rachael Pope says a search on Sunday turned up a shirt they believe is Robin's. She says it was found next to where her dog was found. For this family, it is the latest clue in a mystery they are desperate to solve. Hastings says, "As the days go on and other people start to forget about this, it's getting heavier and heavier for us."
The girls say they're working on a reward with the Pope family, hoping the addition of money will stir tips and jog peoples' memories. They expect to release details about the reward in the next few days, indicating the money is being provided by Wayne Pope's family. Pope, Robin's estranged husband, is the one who reported her missing.
| The search for Robin Pope |
"People may not know her but if you mention the Great Dane and her and showed the picture they remember her walking."
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Rachael and Priscilla say they can't just wait by the phone for a call. That's why they've been so active, telling anyone they can about Robin, assisting with searches and putting her picture out there.
Hastings hopes someone or something will provide the answer they're seeking, "We're not going to stop. Nobody's going to stop, not her best friends, us. We're just not going to stop, no matter what it takes."
"It hurts, it hurts,” Michael Marion said. “Sometimes I just want to close my eyes when I go by. That way maybe it's not there, but it's there and every day we go by it, my boys see it every day, their bus goes by it every day."
Court records detail not only Timothy Virts potential for violence but also the custody agreements for parenting the children he had with murder victim Bobbie Joe Cortez.
Maryland hit-and-run reports by the numbers
Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has weighed in on a bill that asks Maryland hospitals with an ER to provide forensic exams for victims of sexual assault.
Lawmakers Friday introduced a bill in Annapolis that would place the responsibility on Maryland hospitals to provided certified forensic nurses for rape victims.
When a person is sexually assaulted, a clock starts ticking for evidence collection.
When a victim is raped, convincing them to go to the hospital can be tough. That’s just the first hard step after a horrific trauma.
This searchable database breaks down the number and dollar amount associated with rape kit reimbursements at certified Maryland hospitals.
Stats on hospital rape kit reimbursement claims 2011-2013.