Police found 49-year-old Robin Lynn Ashford’s body after an apartment fire on Monday. 6 News spoke to friends and family at her favorite spot in Killeen.
KILLEEN, Texas — Days after a woman was found dead in a Killeen apartment following a fire, the Killeen Police Department announced her death would be investigated as a homicide.
Police identified the victim Wednesday as 49-year-old Robin Lynn Ashford.
The fire happened in the 4300 block of Lake Road around 1:43 a.m. Monday. When the Killeen Fire Department arrived, they found heavy smoke and a woman’s body.
Ashford was recovered and paramedics tried to resuscitate her, but couldn’t, police said. She was pronounced dead at 2:44 a.m.
Ashford’s older sister Wrenda Rankins wants people to remember the fun, reliable, beautiful spirit her little sister had, not the senseless act of violence surrounding her death.
“I just want everyone to remember Robin, who she is,” she said. “I just want everyone to stay positive, just remember that beautiful social butterfly. She had a big heart, she didn’t meet a stranger.”
Carla Wallace was Ashford’s best friend.
She says Ashford would do anything for friends. Wallace told 6 News that Ashford even helped her pay for a car once.
“She just had a wonderful heart,” Wallace said. “You don’t find many friends like that. You don’t find a lot of genuine people that are really giving from their heart.”
Those who knew her say she lived for her family.
“She loved her children,” Wallace added. “She loved how well they were doing, she doted on them.”
But her family was more than just her blood relatives.
It was anyone she met, especially those at O’Malley’s in Killeen.
6 News was told that O’Malley’s was one Ashford’s favorite spots. She spent a lot of time there and she made everyone who walked through the door feel like her family and her friend.
The bright spirit she had is still living on inside the business. A table was decorated in her honor. It’s where she sat every single time she was there and everyone knew it was Lankford’s seat.
Her seat was memorialized with photos of her bright smile and bold personality, her favorite drink and a cigar. It even had Dallas Cowboys gear because she was a big fan.
“This table will forever be Robin’s table, so she will definitely be remembered and we’ll definitely keep her memory going,” said Heather Dorsey, a bartender at O’Malley’s.
Those who attended O’Malley’s with Ashford say she could be spotted there 6 days a week either singing, dancing, being a DJ, watching the Dallas Cowboys play and being a social butterfly.
“She’s always been the life of the party,” said Vashon Mitchell, Ashford’s brother-in-law. “She’s always been fun to be around.”
“Once she come by and touch your table or mingle with this person, that person, guess what — everybody gravitated and that changed the whole scenery,” said Willie Jackson, a friend of Ashford.
Ashford is described as a bright spirit who was a stranger to no one.
“I will always remember her with that smile, that beautiful smile,” said Leonard Shamburger, another friend of Ashford. “Beautiful soul and heart gone to soon.”
Ashford’s friends and family says touched hearts wherever she went.
“I consider her my bonus daughter and when I come in, she say ‘hi mom’ and always hugged me,” said Sandy Manson who knew Ashford for over a year. “So many hearts are broken, lives shattered.”
Adonis Ridley says the last thing Ashford said to him was that she called him “bestie.” Ashford was apart of many firsts for him. He says she took him on his first vacation and threw his first birthday party for him because that’s the kind of person she was.
He says he is going to miss so many things about her but especially, her beautiful smile.
Ashford’s legacy and memory is now left at her spot at O’Malley’s where her light can keep shining.
“It’s gonna be hard coming to work every day not seeing her walk through that door,” said Nina Bermea, a bartender at O’Malley’s.
Police said both the Killeen police and fire departments are actively interviewing witnesses to help them in their investigation.
If you have any information please contact the Bell County Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com.