NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Friends and family of Phylicia Robinson held a candlelight vigil outside her Norfolk home Thursday.
Police say the 26-year-old mother was murdered and found dead in her next-door neighbor's closet. She had been missing since October 3.
"Help them Lord, God," said a woman who led the family in prayer at the vigil. "Help them to go through this hard time, Lord."
After two months of searching, Robinson's family formed a circle in front of the home they circled so many times, the home Robinson shared with the murder suspect.
"I was sitting in my living room and breaking news came on and said, 'Body found on Marlow Avenue,'" said Arlene Robinson, Phylicia's mother. "I called my husband and he ran out the door. And, I knew."
Robinson's mother now has to bury her child as she watched her other children suffer through the same senseless loss. Robinson's ex-boyfriend, Rashawn Webb, says he expected better from Norfolk police, who thought he was a suspect.
"I took lie detector tests, I gave them my phone records, my truck they checked for forensics," said Webb. "They were just stuck on me and not broadening out their investigation."
Robinson's father stood on her block, for the past two months, looking for clues.
"Do you know how much that hurts?" he said, Thursday. "To know, as we're standing here right now, day in and day out, she was right there. We were going through bushes and everything, each and every day, looking for her when she was right within arms reach."
Robinson's 5-year-old son is too young to understand. His cousin, who spoke at the vigil, is just old enough.
"All these people came out here to represent her," said the boy, fighting back tears. "She was the best thing to ever happen to us and we all love her."
Robinson's neighbor Jamiel Graves, 29, has been charged with her murder.
"We're not going to sit here and laugh with her again. We're not going to have another holiday with her again. You can't give me that back," said Robinson's father. "He can die ten times over and you can't give me that back."
The day before Robinson's body was found, the body of Mandi Myers, Graves' ex-girlfriend, was found in a Virginia Beach home. Graves was also charged in her murder.
By all accounts, Robinson and Graves spoke very little, if at all.
Neighbors told WAVY.com Graves, a former Army reservist, would sometimes linger behind other neighbors who described him as 'creepy.'
"He just wasn't right," said TIffany Waterfield, who noticed Graves at the nearby dog park. "Every time we saw him, we got that feeling where you want your dogs closer."
Graves' mother, who found the body, has not returned to her Marlow Avenue home since Tuesday.
Balloons, cards and stuffed animals stand outside Robinson's home as a reminder of the gruesome discovery.
The public can donate to Robinson's family fund at any Wells Fargo bank. To donate, mention Robinson's sister, Sharniqua Scott, and the last four digits of the account number, which are 0902.
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