Sunday is March 2 (damn), and thusly, a year ago Sunday Robin L. Pope disappeared in Maryland. Here are the basic details but essentially, she was living with her husband (Wayne Pope) until December of 2012 in Stevensville, Maryland. They separated and she moved in with a friend on Kent Island. Her husband was questioned and said that Robin came over to the house on March 1, 2012 (later at night) to retrieve some belongings. After she arrived, he told police he left the house and didn’t return until the next morning; when he returned, her car was parked in the driveway but there was no sign of her. Their dog Bella, who had been living with her, was also missing. The dog was found dead in the water off a pier near their former married home a day later; Pope was found about three weeks later. Because she had been in the water for over three weeks, a cause of death was difficult to determine — although she did have bruises on her feet.
A year later, the unanswered questions are everywhere. Due to the condition of the body, police aren’t even 100 percent sure a crime was committed — it’s possible that her and Bella (the dog) fell into the water and Bella was simply discovered first. There are no major suspects, but no one seems to have been completely ruled out either.
I fully believe in “innocent until proven guilty,” but I do think more needs to be focused on the estranged husband here. The story, as reported in the media, doesn’t seem to completely add up. If your ex-wife is just stopping by to pick up belongings, why would you leave for the entire night? And if you left for the evening, where did you go? A paramour’s house? A hotel? A bar? In all three of those cases, someone should be able to verify you and clear you — I’ve seen reports saying Wayne Pope is not considered a suspect, but as of last week, Maryland police were also saying nothing has been ruled out. So if he has a block of hours unaccounted for during which at the very least the dog died/fell into the water, shouldn’t we press him for that timeline?
Websleuths has some forums on this case — as always, take it with a grain of salt — in which the timelines are moderately clarified. Wayne Pope apparently called the police at 2am on March 2nd, meaning he was gone for about four hours. I haven’t found documentation of his alibi during that period. Apparently Robin Pope was married prior to Wayne — she had only been married to Wayne since about 2010 — and that previous marriage was rocky. Also, there’s discussion that the dog (Bella) had some upper body/torso damage. The dog was a Great Dane, which is fairly hard to harm in that way, and that leads to some potential questions. Here’s the comments from her daughter Rachael after the discovery of the body, via para-phrasing on WebSleuths (again, grain of salt):
This was the direct quote from Rachel. “this day will not bring closure only until the person responsible is brought to justice”
If she thinks someone responsible needs to be brought to justice, that in my opinion, does not imply Rachel thinks her mother’s death was an accident.
She also stated the following. On her father Wayne Pope, I asked if she stood by him: “Um yes. Well yea. I just really don’t want to answer that question now.”
In my opinion, Rachel not wanting to answer the question as to weather or not she stands by her father is also quite telling, but again this is just my opinion.
The money for the searches (in the three weeks before the body was found) was provided by Wayne Pope’s family — you can view that anyway you want. There are also rumors/stories that her shirt was found near the deceased dog, Bella.
Obviously, I’m not a detective/crime fighter in any way. I’d say that Wayne Pope (and potentially the first husband, who I can’t find documentation of) should be leaned on a little more as regards their timelines, especially Wayne — his hours gone sound a little weird. If something isn’t true and you tell it 5-6 times, chances are enough details will shift to raise flags. He seems like a person to lean on, but again, it could be an accident (although the shirt…) or a random (lower percentage chance).
The address of their home was 100 Beach Road (well, it was on that block) in Stevensville, MD. I can’t embed in the new Google Maps (’bout the only thing I don’t really like about Google), but if you search for it, it’s a fairly isolated area, which also makes the case challenging.