The Spook Who Sat By the Door The Spook Who Sat By the Door

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grandmother Repeatedly Stabbed 7-Year-Old Girl In Chest – Then Set House On Fire In Murder-Suicide

An Arkansas woman who adopted her granddaughter after her son’s death in Iraq stabbed the 7-year-old girl in the chest, then set fire to their home in a carefully planned murder-suicide.

Janice Robbins, 63, left a suicide note in her pickup truck at Conway before killing her granddaughter, Abby Robbins, and herself on Saturday, police said.

In the note, she wrote that she didn’t want to leave the girl behind.

‘Can’t stand to see Abby left behind’ and ‘pray for my soul,’ she wrote.

Authorities say that both Janice and Abby were alive during the fire because smoke was found in their lungs. Abby was stabbed once in the right side of her chest, but it’s unclear if that wound would have been fatal.

The coroner determined that the both were killed by the smoke or fire, after finding soot in the girl’s lungs that indicated she was breathing while the home burned, officials said.

Abby’s father, Army Staff Sergeant William T. ‘Terry’ Robbins, was shot and killed by a fellow soldier in Iraq in 2005 during a dispute over alcohol. Shock said Janice Robbins had another son who had also died.

Janice Robbins had adopted Abby, with the process becoming final in 2010.

At a news conference on Monday, officials said there were no indications Robbins was in financial trouble, and investigators were trying to find out if she had been getting counseling for depression.

Faulkner County sheriff’s spokesman Major Andy Shock said Abby may have needed help dealing with the loss of her father.They said the results of toxicological testing, which would show if she was taking medication, will take weeks.

Shock said it appears Robbins planned her and her granddaughter’s deaths very deliberately. She left the suicide note in the pickup truck, and taped an envelope to the side of the truck with keys so authorities could get inside, he said. She also left a plastic bin in the truck that contained her will and other personal effects.

‘Seems to me that this was not an overnight reaction,’ Shock said.

Authorities said the deaths surprised people who knew the family. Neighbours told investigators that Robbins and her granddaughter were seen walking dogs earlier in the week.

It is said that Janice was very loving with Abby.

After Abby’s adoption with Janice became official in September 2010, Abby started calling her mother. Her biological mother lives out of state and police had not been able to reach her.

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