NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The family of Phylicia Robinson is planning a vigil in her memory Thursday evening, outside her Norfolk apartment.
Police say Robinson's body was found in her next-door neighbor's apartment Tuesday and that neighbor, 29-year-old Jamiel Graves, has been charged in her murder.
Graves, of the 9300 block of Marlow Avenue, was already in the Virginia Beach Jail. He was charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Mandi Myers , Monday. Myers' sister told WAVY.com Mandi had two daughters and was a local nurse. Police have not released her cause of death.
Graves lived in the apartment where Robinson's body was found in a closet Tuesday morning. Neighbors say Graves' mother discovered the body while cleaning around 10 a.m.
Robinson was last seen alive Oct. 3.
According to the Army Human Resources Command, Graves was an Army reservist from January 2001 through October 2006. Graves was stationed at Fort Story and was part of the 310 sustainment command, working as a truck driver.
Glenn McBride with the Norfolk Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Robinson's family identified the body as the missing mother.
By all accounts, Robinson spoke very little to Graves, if at all. Neighbors describe him as 'creepy,' and more than one told WAVY.com Graves often followed closely behind women walking their dogs in the area.
"He just wasn't right," said TIffany Waterfield, a neighbor. "Every time we saw him, we got that feeling where you want your dogs closer."
Neighbors say Graves took 'heavy doses' of medication prescribed to him by the veterans' hospital.
"I've taken him and his mother both to the veterans' hospital," said Tina Owens, who lived next door. "I know that he did serve time in Iraq and he was on medication. He struggled with it, I mean, I know he struggled with depression."
Robinson's family members say they suspected Graves from the beginning, even when police focused on Robinson's ex-boyfriend, Rashawn Webb. Some neighbors wonder why police didn't search the adjacent apartment sooner.
"If the Norfolk Police Department would have done a more in depth job, the second girl would still be here," said Owens.
The lingering smell in the area serves as a reminder of how close this all happened to home.
"I have kids here," said one neighbor, almost in tears. "I'm a woman. He did this to two innocent women. This could've happened to me."
The results of three scientific tests (DNA, dental records and fingerprints) from the ME's office are needed to officially identify the remains.
Police have not released a cause of death.
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