LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Richmond Field Office is now working with the Lynchburg Police Department to solve the January homicide of 28-year-old Samantha Rachel Robinson.
Robinson was shot on Jan. 21 and later died from her injuries at Lynchburg General Hospital. All these months later, her cousin, Wanda Banks, still struggles to find the words to express how she feels.
“I’m overwhelmed. I hate feeling my cousin’s pain,” said Banks.
Police say Robinson, the mother of an 11-year-old son, was driving in the area of 12th Street near Pierce Street when she was hit by a stray bullet.
Witnesses in the vehicle told police they heard what sounded like a rock hitting the white Hyundai sedan as they passed the C&C Mini Mart of 12th Street.
“Every day when I come up here and I see this right here, that balloon right there,” Banks said. “Sam is telling them y’all know who did it! You know! There’s no way! You got these cameras.”
It’s been nine months since Robinson was shot and killed. Still, no arrest has been made and no suspect has been named.
“We have received very, very little information since then,” said Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema during a press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
In addition to the FBI joining the investigation, the agency is also offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Robinson’s death.
“For those individuals that have information, pick up the telephone and call us,” urged FBI Special Agent Stanley Meador.
Banks says Robinson was not only her cousin, but also her encourager.
“Sam always made me feel good about myself and she was genuine with it, and she was authentic. She was like a life, and she brought it in. She would say, ‘Cuz, you know how it is! This is what we do!’ And that’s how she was,” Banks said.
Now, Banks is encouraging the person who fired the bullet that took away her cousin to turn themselves in to authorities.
“I know that you did not mean to do it, but still justice has to be served,” said Banks.
WFXR News also spoke with Robinson’s mother, Jill Rice, who is now caring for Robinson’s son, Carlos. Rice declined an on-camera interview, but told us she just wants someone in the community to provide information to investigators that will bring her daughter’s murder case to a close and lead to justice for family.
The FBI says no bit of information is insignificant, so if you have any tips to share, you are asked to contact the FBI by visiting tips.fbi.gov or calling 804-261-1044.
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