EDITOR’S NOTE: To bring more awareness to the 20th anniversary of an unsolved double homicide, the Waxahachie Daily Light and the Midlothian Mirror are presenting a four-part series on the history of the case to answer why it has been so difficult to close. A story will publish in each Sunday edition of the Daily and Wednesday in the Mirror.
From a distance, the headstones of Robbie Biggar and Kasey Roberts blend in with all the others in Blooming Grove’s Rose Hill Cemetery. Yet, beyond memories and photos, these headstones represent more than the death of two people.
These headstones represent a grandmother.
These headstones represent a grandson.
These headstones are the questions unanswered for family, friends and law enforcement in an Ellis County double homicide case that’s still under investigation 20 years later.
“That was the last place their bodies were here on Earth,” Polly Knott, Biggar’s sister said. “I know they’re both in heaven and I’m thankful for that. We were a close-knit family. She would do anything for anybody, and then it just happened.”
On March 19, 1994, the two were reported missing to Lancaster police. On March 20, 1994, Kasey was found in a vehicle at a Red Oak apartment. A medical examiner ruled he died from hyperthermia, a condition where body temperature is greatly above normal, and dehydration, according to Ellis County police affidavits. He was about three weeks shy of 2 years old.
Two days later, Biggar was found in a field on Industrial Road near Farm-to-Market Road 66 in Maypearl, on what was then the Superconducting Super Collider property, records stated. A medical examiner said she died from blunt force trauma to the head. Both deaths were ruled as homicides, affidavits stated.
“There are not enough words to describe how wonderful she was,” Knott said. “She was a loving, caring, hard working person. She would do anything to help anybody. All they had to do is ask.”
Biggar was Knot’s older sister. From time to time, Biggar would give her advice, Knott said. The pair would talk like sisters do, aggravate each other like sisters do, she said. When they got older and Biggar moved from Blooming Grove to Lancaster, any sign of cross words had disappeared, she said, because they were just glad to see each other.
“Almost right before her death, we had bought a house, and I was going to paint one of the rooms and she said, ‘I’ll come down and help you,” Knott said. “I said no. I said, ‘You’ve got a lot to do, don’t worry about it,’ but she still wanted to come. That’s just who she was; she wanted to help you. She was a very good daughter, loving sister and a good mother.”
One of the biggest blessings in Biggar’s life, Knott said, was when her grandson came along. Biggar thought the world of Kasey, Knott said. Biggar would help her daughter Cheryl and took every opportunity possible to adore him, family and friends said.
“Kasey was not in our lives very long. He was a very smart, little boy,” Knott said. “Just precious and just really cute. Just like any other 23-month-old. We would see them on special occasions like Christmas and his birthday and Easter. He always wanted his mother. There are some kids you just really hate to be around, they’re always into stuff and you have to constantly watch them. He wasn’t like that.”
The day the two went missing, Knott, family and friends were in complete shock, they said. Knott found out when her niece drove to her house and told her they were missing. She immediately went to her mother and father, then the family traveled to Lancaster to wait at Biggar’s house for any developments, she said.
Ann Gipson, a friend of Biggar’s for about 15 years, found out from a voicemail left on her answering machine by Cheryl, she said. The friends met through a neighbor, talked almost every day, spent time together in church and went shopping together. They kept up with what the other was doing in between their own lives, Gipson said.
“We were just all in shock,” Knott said. “She had lots of friends there in Lancaster, it was just an outpouring from the community. People brought food. You never had seen so much food. It was just an outpouring of love.”
Then, news came that the two had been found.
“It was very sad, we were still in shock,” Knott said. “We were all just really sad. It was hard to sleep or eat. I lost 10 pounds that week. You just can’t eat when something like that is going on.”
For Gipson, who said she had tried to stay optimistic throughout the search for her close friend and the grandson Biggar cherished, the news took over her life. For months and years afterward, she spent hours working with law enforcement and investigators to solve the case.
“It was frustrating. There were so many agencies involved,” Gipson said. “It was all just so fragmented and it was just sad, but I just took hold and started putting it on billboards.”
She wouldn’t speak further on the matter, out of respect for the family, saying she didn’t want to risk possibly upsetting the family any more than she may have done with her involvement back then. She said eventually, she just had to let go.
Eventually, Biggar’s family had to do the same, with no answers and leads fading soon after the case started. The family clung to each other, Knott said, providing support and a sympathetic ear if someone needed to talk, and they trusted in God.
“That’s all that got us through—it still does. We prayed a lot, and still pray. He will take care of it.”
Then, a break in the case came, or so law enforcement, family and friends thought. In 2009, Larry Samples, the ex-boyfriend of Biggar, and an acquaintance named Galen Boyd, were arrested in connection to the homicides and charged with capitol murder, affidavits stated. The hope of closure came to a halt in 2010 though, just as the case was headed toward a grand jury trial. The Ellis County District Attorney at the time ruled there wasn’t enough concrete evidence to indict the two men. They were let go.
Dennis Brearley, the current Ellis County Chief Deputy, said he was working with the sheriff’s office during the time the two men were arrested, but not directly connected to the case. Now, as chief deputy, the current investigator briefs him on the case.
“I was hoping it would bring closure, that if these are the people, hopefully it would bring closure,” he said. “I was sorry there wasn’t closure.”
However, this doesn’t mean the case is over, he said. The office is always open to receiving any information someone feels they may have for this case, or any case, he said.
Family and friends, on the other hand, are still hopeful. The Waxahachie Daily Light did try to reach out to Cheryl, Biggar’s daughter and the mother of Kasey, more than once, but never received a response.
Today, Knott said, the family is just trying to move on. Knott said she speaks with Cheryl often, and that Biggar’s daughter is doing well. She’ll call Knott to talk or seek advice, but it’s not the same as if she could speak to her mother, Knott said.
“It’s harder for them, than for us of course, because it was her baby and her mother,” Knott said. “But Cheryl is trying to go on with her life, and that’s exactly what Robbie would want her to do. Everyone handles grief in a different way, but she’s handled it the best she can.”
Knott still visits the cemetery. She goes almost every holiday, and every birthday. She also goes on the anniversary of their death, which was Thursday. She goes whenever she feels she needs to go, she said.
“I’m sad because I think we all know we’re going to die, but when somebody’s life is taken from them, especially murder,” she said, trailing off. “I can go out to the cemetery, and my dad is there. Of course, he was a bit older. He was 78, and battled cancer. I feel a little different with Robbie and Kasey. It brings tears to my eyes, their lives were cut short.”