A pall of gloom hung over Giraudel on Sunday as residents tried to make sense of the brutal killing of 75-year-old Marvlyn Robinson in the early hours of Saturday morning.
While the rest of Dominica was celebrating the island’s 34th anniversary of Independence, news broke of the unfortunate incident which left the heart of many burdened with sadness.
When Dominica News Online visited the area on Sunday it was apparent that something had gone terribly wrong in the usually quiet community.
Uncertainty was etched in the faces of many residents, probably a sign that they were asking questions to which there were no answers.
The house where Robinson lived and where she met her demise was quiet. It is surrounded by a white and green wall, there is a well laden grapefruit tree in the yard and the flowers and landscaping are immaculate. A vehicle with a flag of Dominica draped on it was the garage, as if waiting to be driven out.
But a yellow police tape on the gate betrayed the fact that something of unspeakable horror had taken place in the house where the senior citizen lived alone.
According to official police reports, a response was made to the home at 2:30 on Saturday morning. “On arrival at the scene Robinson was found alive after sustaining multiple stab wounds to various parts of her body. She was transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital by the fire and ambulance services and shortly thereafter was pronounced dead,” Inspector Richmond Valentine of the Dominica Police Force said.
Inspector Valentine said one man has been taken into custody and is assisting in the investigation.
Neighbours and residents who rushed to the scene after the alarm was raised said the retired nurse was the one who actually alerted a friend that she was attacked. They said she was begging medics to keep her alive when she was taken in the ambulance.
“It was heartbreaking,” a neighbour who was on the scene told DNO.
Now everyone is asking the same question: why?
“I really don’t know what to say,” one resident told DNO. “It is sad. Very sad. This whole place is just in disbelief.”
“She was a nice lady, a gently person,” another said while shaking his head. “Whoever did this, God must punish them.”
Robinson was also described as a “good but outspoken” person. “If she had to tell you something, she would tell you. She was very outspoken,” another resident said.
She was said to be very active in the community as a contributing member of the Giraudel Flower Growers Group, a cultural activist, a seamstress and a generous giver. “Nothing was too much for her to give when asked,” residents said.
Robinson was known to leave her vehicle at home and take the bus or go walking as a form of exercise.
“She will be missed, she will be missed,” the neighbour who was on the scene when Robinson was taken away in the ambulance kept repeating.
Judging by the mood encountered in Giraudel on Sunday, it will take a long time before that community comes to grips with this senseless crime.