THOMSON - The yellow-and-black crime-scene tape still surrounds the house where 35-year-old Robin Reeves was slain almost two weeks ago.
Her car is still parked in the front yard where she left it when she returned from a church pancake supper, the last place she was seen alive. The blue-and-white swing set where her children played is a sad reminder things will never be the way they were.
Robin Reeves was found slain in her Thomson home Feb. 28. Police say they have few leads.
Next door, her mother grieves. Throughout the town, the people of Thomson speculate on the identity of her killer.
The police chase down leads, but they know little more now than they did Feb. 28, the day her body was found.
``It might seem like we're being tight lipped, but actually we don't know much more than anybody else,'' said Thomson Police Chief John Hathaway. ``And that is very, very little information that we had. What we knew last week is just about what we know today.''
What they knew last week is Ms. Reeves was stabbed to death in the hallway of her Gordon Street residence sometime between 8:30 p.m. Feb. 27 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28. She was dressed in the clothes she had worn to church. There was no sign of forced entry, and police have not found a weapon.
Her mother, Faye Reeves, found her body that morning after her daughter did not show up for work at the Thomson branch of Augusta Technical College, where she was the vice presidents's secretary.
The victim's 16-month-old son, Joseph Standridge, was unharmed in his crib in a bedroom off the hall. Her 4-year-old daughter, Hannah Neville, from an earlier marriage, was with her father the night Ms. Reeves was slain.
Ms. Reeves divorced Robert Standridge, 38, of Thomson, in September. Her maiden name was legally restored the day before her death. Mr. Standridge was scheduled to appear in McDuffie County Superior Court on March 2 to answer to felony charges of aggravated stalking and making harassing phone calls to Ms. Reeves. The case has been postponed until next month.
Police questioned Mr. Standridge the day Ms. Reeves' body was found and determined he had an alibi for the hours during which police say the killing occurred. They also processed two of Mr. Standridge's vehicles for evidence.
Police also questioned Ms. Reeves' two previous husbands, William Turcotte and Spalding Neville, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents.
On Tuesday night, Thomson police and GBI investigators blocked the street in front of Ms. Reeves' house to ask motorists who might have been traveling that way the same time the week before whether they had seen or heard anything unusual Feb. 27.
The tactic didn't yield any solid help, Chief Hathaway said.
``We got a little information,'' he said. ``Nothing to hang your hat on.''
Mostly what police get are rumors from people about who they think might have killed Ms. Reeves. Those rumors don't necessarily coincide with the evidence, Chief Hathaway said.
``People are just talking,'' he said.
The investigation has been slowed because a key person investigators declined to identify has decided not to cooperate further, according to an unidentified source close to the investigation.
In the neighborhood around Gordon Street, residents are in shock but hopeful the killer will be caught, said Bill Bales, who lives across the street.
``It was a useless crime of such a sweet girl,'' he said. ``Everywhere I go it's the main topic of our little community.''
Mr. Bales said he had been painting windows on his house that afternoon and went inside about 6:30 p.m. to clean up. About 7:30 p.m., he and his wife, Margie, went out for about 30 minutes.
``I think it happened about the time we were coming home,'' Mr. Bales said. ``But I didn't see anything. I didn't see any cars. I don't even recall whether Robin's car was over there.''
Despite the lack of progress in the case, Martin Moses, GBI special agent in charge of the Thomson office said the killer will be caught.
``It's not going to be unsolved,'' he said. ``It's just going to take awhile. It's just slow going at this point, but we'll get there.... We'll eventually get there.''
Chief Hathaway said such a crime in a small town such as Thomson is personal.
``Being a small community and the fact that people know people in a small town makes this very personal,'' he said. ``A lot of people knew Robin. They know her mother. They knew some of the family, and it becomes a personal issue for the citizens, and it's personal with us. We want to solve it as bad as anybody.''
From the March 12, 2001 print edition of The Augusta Chronicle.