In Conway, Arkansas, local authority are stunned at the apparent murder / suicide committed by Janice Robbins. Janice, 63, adopted her granddaughter following the death of her son while serving in Iraq.
Both Janice Robbins and 7-year-old Abby Robbins were killed in the fire deliberately set at their home.Janice left a suicide note in her truck, before stabbing the 7-year-old in the chest and then proceeding to try and kill herself. According to Yahoo News Coroner Patrick F. Moore stated that they: "can't speculate at this point whether or not they were conscious. But we do know they were alive during the time of the fire." In her suicide note, as reported by the Arkansas times, Janice claimed that she didn't want to leave her young granddaughter behind.
It is unknown whether Janice was in a good state of mind, and it will take several weeks for toxicology reports to return to determine whether she was taking drugs, and also if she gave drugs to the young girl prior to stabbing her. It is clear however that Janice planned her and Abby's death carefully, taking steps to allow authorities easy access to her vehicle with her suicide note by taping the keys to the side of her truck. A plastic bin was also found at the scene containing her will, and Abby's birth certificate among other personal items.
Their neighbors were completely caught off-guard, having not seen anything out of the ordinary the day before. Robin Holloway, neighbor to the two victims, found herself rushing towards the burning household in an attempt to rescue her neighbors.
Janice and her granddaughter only recently moved to their neighborhood near Conway, but in the few months they were there Robin claimed that she got to know little Abby quite well, and as a result lashed out at Janice's decision, asking: "How could you do that to a child?"
The congregation of St. Joseph's church told KATV that they are also mourning today due to the tragic discovery. Both victims were active in the community and it's been proclaimed that they will both be dearly missed by the Church. They pray that those who do suffer from depression like Janice would: "seek out the necessary help and counseling."