December 28, 2020 | By Mindy Herrick
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class. The student credited above wrote this story as a class project.
Jamie Edwards slept in her sister Robin Stone’s bedroom every Christmas Eve. She couldn’t allow herself to be tempted to see if Santa had come yet.
That memory remains one of Jamie’s favorites of her older sister.
Robin was 17 years old and seven-months pregnant when she went missing from the small town of Cambridge, Ohio, on August 27, 1991. Jamie was unable to share a Christmas sleep with Robin that year for the first time.
Robin’s remains were found shortly after the holiday.
Judy Stevens, Robin’s mother, was incredibly affected by the loss of her daughter. She says the pain is “indescribable.” She thinks about her daughter every day and remembers precious time together they spent together.
Growing up, Robin was an animal lover and wanted to go to veterinarian school. She loved to visit her Aunt Becky and Uncle John and ride the ponies that they kept. They would hook up a cart to the ponies and she would ride around, laughing the entire time.
As a high school student, Robin studied athletics sports medicine training and learned how to wrap injuries. One day she found a rabbit with a wounded leg in their backyard, brought it inside, wrapped its leg, and made sure it was ready before releasing it back into the wild.
Judy said her daughter was extremely friendly. “She was friendly with everyone and made genuine human connections regardless of their age or anything,” she fondly recalled.
Judy once told Robin that she could invite people over for her birthday in second grade. Only one person her age attended. Her friends were in junior high, college, and high school.
But that was Robin’s personality – she was friendly and made connections with everyone.
Having children of her own now, Jamie can’t help but think about what it would be like to have Robin as an aunt for her kids. Jamie also lost out on the chance to be an aunt to Robin’s own children.
“I gave one of my daughters Robin’s middle name – Diane,” Jamie said.
The lost time, holidays together, spending time with each other’s family – none of it can be replaced.
Robin met her longtime friend Jody Stopiak when the two were in 5th grade. Jody was new to the elementary school and Robin was the first one to introduce herself and ask to be friends. Jody said she was so thankful for Robin because it was “hard to make friends when switching schools,” she said.
Ever since that day, Robin and Jody were best friends and shared so many memories, from sleepovers to drama class, to the marching band color guard. When they had sleepovers with their friends, they were known to often pull pranks on the first ones to fall asleep. Jody and Robin were always up late and the last two to go to bed.
Jody vividly remembers the school assembly they had to attend one day. Each class was supposed to sit with their homeroom, but since Jody had yet to make many new friends. Instead of letting her friend sit alone, Robin asked the teachers if they could sit together.
“I was so thankful and happy that she did that for me,” Jody recalled with a smile.
On August 27, 1991, Robin made it home from school and soon after received a phone call.
“I’ll be right there,” Robin was heard saying.
She told her mother that she was going over to Jody’s house to study and would be home for dinner. Robin never returned.
Her 1980 Ford Granada was found later near a vacant house, but Robin was still nowhere to be found.
Four months later, on December 28, two hunters found remains in the woods near Luburgh Lake. The remains were soon identified as Robin Stone.
After two years of investigations, the case went cold due to a lack of evidence and information that could be gathered.
In 2014, the television show Cold Justice brought two new investigators to the case to try and find more information.
“It was hard to watch at times,” Jamie said. “It brought back memories and a lot of mixed feelings for us.”
The family found out more information about the case on the show than they knew before, now years after Robin’s death.
The investigators used technology to determine that her boyfriend at the time was the father of Robin’s unborn baby. With the new information and a new prosecuting attorney, Jamie said, “we hope that someday soon, we will have our day in court and the person or persons involved will finally be brought to justice.”
A funeral for Robin was held eleven years after her disappearance after all the possible evidence could be gathered and her body was finally released. The Guernsey County Sheriff’s Department said it was time for Robin to be laid to rest.
Since then, Jamie has tried to push a lot of the experiences out of her mind and forget about them. “We all coped the best that we could and for me, I tried to avoid thinking about it,” she said.
“But the harder I would try to forget, the more I thought about it. It was the saddest moment in our lives and it greatly affected our small community.”
Robin’s family had to lean on each other after her death and still to this day.
“Having Jamie really helped me after Robin’s loss. She really kept me going,” Judy said.
Robin Stone was full of love and life. She was friendly, outgoing, strong, confident, unique, driven, and loved by many people. And her family isn’t going to let her be forgotten.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that my sister doesn’t cross my mind,” Jamie said.
“Some days are better than others, but even nearly thirty years later, I still hold hope.
If you have any information on the unsolved murder of Robin Stone, please call the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 439-4455.
Research & Impact
Project: Cold Case works directly with survivors of unsolved homicide to empower them to be their own best advocate. In line with that, we often work to educate families on the usefulness of utilizing social media to the advantage of their loved one’s case.
Social media has multiple benefits when used correctly. Many older cases lack a digital footprint, in which the family or someone that may have information on the case cannot locate any information on the internet. We coined this “Internet Silence” and work to give many lost loved one’s first presence on the internet. This also is an incredible opportunity to digitally archive your loved one’s information. Many families have detailed that they lost all their belongings, including photos and memories of their loved ones, in moving homes or natural disasters like fires and hurricanes.
Project: Cold Case utilizes social media as an ally, to continue to fight for awareness for these unsolved murders and their families – individually and collectively – to reach a greater audience and encourage conversation among those that are honoring their loved one.
An estimated 1-in-3 people have a social media presence. Through the Project: Cold Case Facebook page, which currently has 23,000 “likes,” we average reaching 150,000 users each month. That’s 150,000 people that now know of a case, that sympathize with the grieving family, that can assist in sharing the story in hopes that someone with information will see it and come forward.
We encourage families to maintain their own Facebook page in honor of their loved one and promote their unsolved case. This can be tricky, as social media becomes ever more complex by the day. Our office is happy to assist families in setting up their pages and practices to best support their fight.
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