STEVENSVILLE — Five years have passed since Robin Pope’s body was recovered from the Chesapeake Bay.
On March 23, 2013, after weeks of searching, Pope was found less than a mile from where she was last seen.
On the five-year anniversary of her death, friends and family gathered to remember Robin and remind others that this case is still open and under investigation, said Pope’s close friend Kathy Ullrich. A reward is being offered for any information leading to answers in Pope’s case, she said.
On March 1, 2013, 51-year-old Robin Lea Pope went missing. According to police reports, the last person to see Pope alive was her estranged husband, Wayne Pope. After contacting Robin Pope’s closest friends, Wayne Pope reported her missing to the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office. Wayne Pope reportedly said he had spoken to his estranged wife late that evening and was expecting her to come to their home to retrieve some personal belongings.
What police found when they began to search for Robin Pope was her vehicle parked outside the family home on Beech Drive in Kent Island Estates with her purse, keys and cell phone still inside. Less than 24 hours later, Robin Pope’s great Dane Bella was found dead on the rocks near the pier of a neighboring residence.
Natural Resources Police and troopers from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and Criminal Enforcement Division joined the sheriff’s office in the ongoing investigation.
Twenty-three days later, her body was discovered by a fisherman along the Kent Island shoreline.
“Her body, badly decomposed, was floating less than a mile from where she vanished,” said friends Ullrich and Debbie O’Malley.
According to Ullrich and O’Malley, the police report and autopsy showed no visible signs of intentional trauma and the cause of death was not determined.
When Robin Pope’s body was released to her husband, he had her cremated and a memorial service was held on April 2, 2013. Since then her friends have held her in their memory, gathering several times a year, including her birthday and the day her body was found. A park bench with the words “Until we see you again — This is not where it ends” was placed near the shore in her memory.
Friend Michelle Sigona said, “Robin Pope was not only a cancer survivor, but a loving mother, wife and friend to many. She knew everyone in her close-knit, waterfront community on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. So there’s grave concern one cold night when she goes missing.”
Orignally from Abiliene, Texas, Robin Pope was survived by husband; her children Priscilla Hastings of Los Angeles, Calif. and Rachael Pope of Stevensville; and sisters Sheree Barefoot and Kristi French.
“I will never stop searching the truth of your death. I won’t give up until I do, till I take my last breath,” wrote Ullrich on the website friends created to keep Pope’s memory alive and help them in their continued search for answers.
“I share the story of my friend with hope that you will help keep her memory alive. And, that you may find it in your hearts to help us find answers,” wrote O’Malley. “Something horrible happened to her that night and so many questions remain unanswered. We can continue to speculate what happened and who did this, but we will never have closure until we know the truth. I will not rest until the truth is revealed.”
The two hope that this anniversary of Pope’s death might be the opportunity for someone to step forward with some kind of information, Ullrich said.
Maryland State Police spokesman Ron Snyder said the case remains open and investigators are committed to pursuing all leads. To contact MSP Homicide Unit, call 410-822-3101; for the Queen Anne' County Sheriff’s Office, call 410-758-6666.
A potential reward for valid and useful tips is being offered by Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-2587.
The website for Pope is www.rememberingrobinpope.com.