Police: Without conclusive autopsy results, may never learn if Robin Pope's death was a crime

Posted at 4:21 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 21:34:36-04

After four years, we still don't know how Robin Pope -- the Stevensville woman who's body washed ashore weeks after she disappeared -- died. 

Police say until they figure out how Robin died, they may never know if her death was a crime. 

The waves washing along the shoreline in Stevensville may hold a dark secret, one that could shed light on a four-year-old mystery. 

"It is a frustration and there's no police investigator who likes to have a case without answers," Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police's spokesman, said. 

Answers to what happened to Robin Pope, the mother and wife who, suddenly, vanished in March of 2013.

Her body washed ashore weeks after she disappeared. 

"As far as the cause and manner of death, that's undetermined. We, certainly, have a victim who is deceased and it remains suspicious to us," Shipley said. 

Suspicious, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley says, because of what Robin was wearing. 

Police thought her choice of shoes when her body was discovered was peculiar. 

"...ultimately found in the water with high heels, the high heels that she had on that night. Those aren't shoes that you would wear to the beach if you intended to have a late night walk along the shores there in Stevensville," Shipley said. 

Investigators determined Robin was last seen at the home she and he estranged husband, Wayne, used to share on Bay Drive. 

She'd just moved out, but was forced to leave some of her personal belongings -- including her beloved dog, Bella, because the condo where she stayed didn't allow pets.

"Everybody said that she brought a lot of light into a room and she was a great and fun person to be around, and she was very energetic," Queen Anne's County Sheriff Gary Hofmann said. 

He didn't know Robin personally, but says as the years go by, the small town is still talking about what happened to Robin. 

"This has been like a ripple effect in the community and there's not an event in the community or something that I'm not at where somebody doesn't come up to me and ask, you know, what's the status of Robin's case, and it really has taken a toll on this community because there's a lot of things that the public would like answered in this," Hofmann said. 

Investigators determined Robin was coming to the house after leaving a dinner in Annapolis. 

She told Wayne she needed to pick up a few things. 

When the two met at the house, he told investigators he left because his lawyer didn't think it'd be a good idea for the two of them to be together alone. 

So, when he got back and saw what he did -- he called police. 

"He didn't know where she was. Her car was at his house, but she and their dog were both missing," Shipley said. 

Sheriff's deputies called in back up from state police and together they searched both land and sea for Robin and her dog. 

Weeks later, investigators discovered a body belonging to Robin's dog, Bella.

Days later, a fisherman and his daughter found Robin.

"We don't know if anyone killed Robin Pope. The bigger question is how did Robin Pope die," Shipley rhetorically asked.

A medical examiner determined she had water in his lungs meaning she was most likely alive when she went in the water.

It's a mystery that swirls in investigators heads because with an answer, Shipley says it can help bring police closer to solving Robin's death.

"We believe that there is at least one person and possibly more who know how she died and why she died," Shipley said.