According to Wayne, Robin called him sometime between 10:00-10:30 to tell him she wanted to come to the house and pick up some of her belongings, and a fence post digger for a job site. (Robin owned Island Fence Co. LLC). He then claims to have fallen asleep, waking up around 11:30 pm and finding Robin parked out front. Wayne said he walked out to her car, found her asleep and that he startled her. He said that he told her he was leaving because his lawyer, advised him to not be alone with her. According to Wayne, he left Robin at the house and drove to 7-Eleven in Grasonville, 2 towns over, for a cup of coffee and then went to his dad’s house to pick up his white dually Ford truck. After which, he drove back to the house only to find that Robin and Bella were missing.
Cell phone records indicate that Robin was on the phone with Wayne at 10:30 pm. The cellular signal shows that the call was dropped on Oregon Rd. at 10:30 pm as well. Oregon Road is the road that leads to Beach Road (2 minutes tops from where the Pope’s lived) and where she was last seen.
Fast forward to 1:15 am and Wayne is in my kitchen saying over and over, “I don’t know where she is, they just disappeared, Robin and Bella, we were in a good place, Robin and I were in a good place. I just don’t know where she could be, we are going to go to counseling.” I asked him if he had tried to call her. He said it went straight to voicemail. I asked if he checked the neighbor’s house. He said no, that they were not home and that she really didn’t know the neighbors. Then I said let me try and call her. I did, it went straight to voicemail. At the time I tried calling I was unaware that Wayne knew her car with her keys, purse and phone in the front seat.” He knew and yet he still had me call her.
Then I asked if he had been by the condo that Robin was renting from my daughter, I cannot remember if he said yes or no, but he asked Jennifer if she had a key. I suggested they ride over to the condo to see if Robin was there. I sent Robin a text at 2:08 am while Jennifer and Wayne were at the condo. When they returned at approximately 2:30 am, he walked in my house saying “I don’t know what to do?”
I told him, Rachael (Robin and Wayne’s 19 year old daughter) had sent me a text asking if I had heard from Robin. Wayne said, “yeah, she has not heard from her either.” I suggested he go home and call the police.
I closed the door, looked at my daughter and said “I have a bad feeling Jen, something is not right here.”
Deputies entered Robin Pope into the National Crime Information Center database as a missing person and information was forwarded to area law enforcement agencies. They interviewed relatives and friends as they continued the search for Robin. On March 2, 2013, a deputy responded to a neighboring residence, where Bella was found dead on the rocks near the pier, Bella was taken to the Queen Anne’s County Humane Society for an autopsy. The autopsy was performed by veterinarian Dr. Marian Shaw. “She had bruises on her feet,” said Shaw, “I think the dog was probably trying to get out of the water.” Dr. Shaw knew Bella well, she was her vet. She thinks the dog died of hypothermia, but there are persistent questions of why Bella was in the water in the first place. “Great Danes don’t usually like to swim. They would avoid water,” she said.
We laid Robin to rest on April 2, 2013. Her obituary:
Robin Lea Pope, 51, of Stevensville, MD died on March 23, 2013.
Born in Abilene, TX on July 24, 1961, she was the daughter of the late John P. French and Barbara Godwin French. She was a breast cancer survivor.
She is survived by her husband, Wayne A. Pope, Jr.; her children, Priscilla Hastings of Los Angeles, CA and Rachael Pope of Stevensville, MD; her sisters, Sheree Barefoot and Kristi French; and many caring friends. She was preceded in death by her brother, John A. French.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, April 2 at the Kent Island United Methodist Church in Chester, MD, where friends may visit with the family on Monday, April 1 from 6-8 pm.
Interment will be held at Stevensville Cemetery, Stevensville, MD.
My name is Debbie O’Malley and Robin was my very best friend. For the past 23 years we spoke 5 or 6 times a day, every day. So, when Wayne showed up at my home on that cold, windy morning of March 2nd, I knew something was wrong, I knew Robin was gone.
At about 1:15-1:30 am, my daughter Jennifer came in my room and woke me up: “Mom, Wayne is downstairs he is looking for Robin.” I immediately went downstairs and found a flustered, and somewhat confused, Wayne. He asked me if I had heard from Robin. I replied, “Not since around 6:45 when she sent me a text.” I called her after work that day at 5:00 pm, just as I always did, but did not get an answer. She texted me at 6:45 pm to say she was at a job interview and would call me when it was over.
Just three weeks earlier, Robin moved out of the waterfront home they shared on Kent Island after they decided to separate on February 1. Since that time Wayne had become increasingly agitated and angry.
Wayne went home and called the Queen Anne County Sheriff’s Department. He called me around 3 or 4 am to tell me that the sheriff’s department was at the house and would I speak with them. The Deputy got on the phone and asked me when was the last time I spoke with Robin and for all my contact information. I stayed in touch with Wayne until dawn. When daylight hit, we went to the condo to check to see if she had returned home. We found no sign of her. Then we made our way down to Wayne and Robin’s house. Her car was there and her phone, purse, and make-up bag were lying on the driver’s seat. I looked at Wayne and said” Her phone and keys are in the car Wayne?? She would never go anywhere without her phone.” He just kept saying “I know, I know. Something is wrong. I just don’t know where she is. They just disappeared, she and Bella.” We asked if we could come inside the house because it was windy and extremely cold. He was somewhat reluctant to, but did let us in. I told Wayne I was going home and would call him in a little while.
On the evening of March 2, 2013, after Bella had been found dead, the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Maryland State Police Criminal Investigation Bureau and requested that troopers take the lead in this investigation. It was on this day that Robin’s missing persons status changed to “Critical Missing Person.” Troopers from the State Police Homicide Unit and Criminal Enforcement Division responded and have been working the investigation since. Assistance is being provided by troopers from the Centreville Barrack, as well as Natural Resources Police officers and Queen Anne County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
When Robin was finally found on March 23rd, she was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. Dr. William Rodriguez, a forensic anthropologist who spent more than 20 years working for the Department of Defense, was actively involved in Pope’s autopsy, according to Maryland State Police. Rodriguez is considered an industry expert and is known for testifying as a defense expert in the trial of Casey Anthony. When the autopsy concluded, Robin’s body was released to Wayne. Within just a few days Wayne had Robin cremated.
A few days after the autopsy, an unknown source told a local TV station that no obvious signs of trauma were visible. But, investigators are still trying to piece together what happened. The detectives will not discuss any information about possible suspects. “We are considering all possibilities at this point,” said MSP spokesman Greg Shipley. “We don’t discuss who may or may not be a suspect until it is appropriate to do so.” Wayne is not “considered a suspect”, but has been questioned by state police on more than one occasion.