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Cold Justice: Mother and unborn child murdered after call in the night

Kelly Siegler and Yolanda on TNT's Cold Justice.
Kelly Siegler and Yolanda on TNT's Cold Justice.

Robin Stone, 17, said over the telephone one night in 1991, "I'll be there! I'll be there" before disappearing into the night and was never seen alive again, according to a suspenseful episode of Cold Justice on TNT Friday, Aug. 1. Her mother overheard those last fateful words she ever heard uttered by her daughter and later that evening called a friend to ask if Robin was there. Her friend Marigold Marsh said that her daughter wasn't at her house.

Who was the person who called the seven-months pregnant Robin that evening and requested a rendezvous with the young mother? Whose voice was it on the other end of that phone line? And was that caller the person who was responsible for her tragic death? These and other puzzling questions are challenges which famous Houston prosecutor Kelly Siegler and equally famous investigator Yolanda McClary must overcome if they are to solve this difficult case.

Three hunters are looking for deer near Cambridge, Ohio, when they come upon the skeletal remains of an adult one evening. They also found baby bones. Could this be the place where Robin and her unborn baby met their tragic fate?

Concern first began to mount concerning Robin's whereabouts when the seventeen-year old, seven-month pregnant high school senior didn't show up at school the night after she received the mysterious call the night before. Robin's mother called the police and informed them she'd never returned home.

Robin's case is changed from missing person to murder when the bodies found by the deer hunters were identified as those of her and her baby whose life ended at seven months. Robin's body is identified by jewelry and dental records. Ohio detectives Sam Williams and Jason Mackie call TNT on the phone for help when their investigation hits a brick wall.

High-powered investigators Johnny Bonds and Steve Spingola are brought in as part of the TNT team to aid in the investigation. Kelly said, "We decided to bring in the North and the South for this one since the expertise of each can benefit us."

Robin left a diary with copious entries in it behind which may help solve the brutal crime. The diary describes how she met Lee Savage, the fist time they had sex, every time they broke up and many more details which could be valuable clues in the case.

Kelly mentions that Robin's body and the body of her unborn baby were found at a lake near the Savage home. She also relates that dad Jack Savage didn't approve of his son's relationship with Robin. He was also angry that Robin allegedly claimed her baby belonged to Lee.

Kelly wonders, "Is it possible Jack would help his son commit a violent crime or even do it on his own if he had sufficient motive?"

The TNT meets with Robin's family which includes her sister Jamie Edwards, her mother Judy Stevens and her stepfather. Judy said, "She wanted to be a veterinarian." She also recalled the last time she saw her daughter the night Robin received the mysterious phone call and then quickly left the house.

Charles Peckinpaugh and his son were two of the deer hunters who located the remains of Robin. They take the TNT team to the scene where the remains were found.

As they exit the TNT vehicle, the frequently humorous Bonds kids Spingola, saying, "Sir, you aren't dressed for this. Stay in the car."

The joke was based on the fact Spingola was spiffily dressed in a dark suit and white shirt. Bonds and the others were more casually attired.

A skull and human bones are scattered around the last resting place of Robin and her baby.

Robin's car was found with an hour and a half hours of the time she went missing on Aug. 27, 1991.

The TNT team obtains swabs from the mouths of several people in this investigation as the identity of the murderer is a mystery as well as the identity of the father. Since they doubt either Jack or Lee Savage will voluntarily provide a DNA sample, they first obtain a mouth swab from a relative Valerie Wheeler to build probable cause. When the DNA shows there's a 99% chance the unborn child is a sibling to Valerie, there is sufficient basis to obtain a search warrant even in Ohio for swabs from the two Savage men.

They then obtained DNA from both Jack and Lee. The scientific evidence matched to Lee as being the father and Jack is eliminated as being the possible dad.

When the law enforcement team bring Lee into the police station for questioning, the younger Savage insists he was only fourteen when he dated Robin and their relationship only lasted for three or four months. He at first said they only had anal sex and "blow jobs" which would seem to exclude him as being the father. When they confronted him with the DNA results he said they may've had regular sex once. He is also confronted with notes from the original detective Van Horn who wrote down that Lee at the time revealed he'd dated Robin for nine months.

When he's told the DNA results which indicate a match to him he said, "You mean someone killed Robin and my kid?"

When Detectives Mackie and Williams presented the case to the District Attorney of the Ohio County, the prosecutor said he is open to presenting the case to a grand jury down the road. He would like Mackie and Williams to follow up on a few things first.

The TNT team made a lot of progress on the case and determined the unborn baby was a boy and that Lee is the father of the boy.

Kelly mentioned that nobody can stand trial for second degree murder in this case because the Buckeye state has a statute of limitations for that offense. So it will be a first degree murder charge or nothing which requires proving deliberate actions by whoever the murderer is alleged to be. The Ohio Legislature might want to rethink having a statute of limitations for second degree murder. It just doesn't make sense to allow someone to get away with murder because of a statute of limitations.

Texas prosecutors formerly got headaches from having to explain the difference between the words "deliberate" and "intentional" in capital murder trials. The Texas Legislature wisely changed that statute and deleted the word deliberate as a requirement.

Fans of Cold Justice should tune in again next Friday on TNT at 8/7 CST as the former Houston prosecutor and Las Vegas investigator delve into another of the 200,000 unsolved crimes which haunt America.

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