In what Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey called “one of the worst crimes” he had seen in his career, 63-year-old Linda Welch Robinson was murdered in August.
Linda, who was known for her kindness, died trying to help others. The suspects in the murder are a man and woman who she had picked up on the side of the road.
Dorsey said before Linda died, she took the pair to Walmart in Chester and bought them some food, then offered them a ride wherever they needed to go.
Her family was left with the loss of their matriarch.
On Monday, an effort from a nonprofit and both the Chester and Fairfield community did their part to honor Linda’s kindness. Linda was from Fairfield.
After her murder, the family car was impounded as evidence and has not been returned.
“It’s hard everyday. Can’t sleep, can’t eat. I’ve never cried so much in my life,” Robin’s husband, Vernon, said Monday.
In addition to mourning the loss of his wife, Vernon says his son and daughter both need transportation during the day, and the family had only one car. He also has struggled to figure out how to get his grandchildren to school.
A donation by nonprofit Middleton’s Village to Village Foundation, coordinated by supporters from the Chester County Sheriff’s Department, made things just a little easier.
Following a meeting with the sheriff, Vernon was led outside.
Elliot Middleton, co-founder of Middleton’s Village to Village Foundation, approached Vernon and shook his hand.
“We felt that in your time of need, it’s been difficult, and transportation is a situation right now because of the fact that your vehicle is not usable,” Middleton said. “So we brought you a vehicle.”
He pointed to a red 2006 Chevy Traverse parked outside the sherriff’s office. “That’s your vehicle.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” Vernon said through tears, grabbing Middleton for a tight hug.
Middleton shook his head. “We did, we did.”
Sitting inside the car, Vernon was overwhelmed by the kindness.
“Me and my wife, we never had money, but we never asked for anything in our lives,” he said.
“I’m just thankful that they did it so my grandkids have a way to get back and forth to school. I’ve had such a hard time, and it makes things a little easier on me. I really appreciate it, and I’m thankful for everyone for helping me. I did need a car. It makes things a lot easier on me.”
Middleton’s Village to Village Foundation fixes up old cars and donates them to people in need.
When Chester County Victim’s Advocate Diane Watson saw an ad for the foundation on TV, she immediately contacted them.
“I never met the victim, but she was such a kind and caring person,” Watson said.
The family told Watson they were struggling without a vehicle. “I said, we need to get them a car.”
And they made it happen.
Monday morning’s donation was a heartwarming show that law enforcement isn’t just “putting bad guys in jail,” Dorsey said. Earlier that day, he hugged Watson and thanked her.
“I’m just doing my job,” she told him.
After signing the title to the car, which is fully paid for by Middleton’s Village to Village foundation, Vernon turned the key and started the car.
He looked up, smiling for the first time that morning, and drove away.