Sheer serendipity, that’s how this post about the Robinette Sisters came to be. There was a request to write about Neva. And while digging, I found her sister Lisa. This is the Case of the Month for November 2020.
Neva (1959 – 1975)
According to the Sacramento Bee from June 2, 1975 Neva Lynn Robinette had been missing since May 25 from Vacaville, California. She had left home to go to a local carnival.
Her remains were found nine days later by three children who were playing near a creek. The article doesn’t specify exactly where, if any other items where found near or in the creek, whether Neva was fully clothed, how far from the carnival she was found, etc.
It does mention that an autopsy took place which showed that drowning was the cause of death. It says further that ‘no apparent contusions on the body or any other evidence of foul play‘ were found.
So what happened to Neva? Did she had to be near the creek to go to the carnival? Did she slip and fell into the creek? Was she able to swim?
I wanted to know more so I went online and found her grave. That small head shot was taken out of bigger photograph by Susan. Both head shots from Neva and Lisa come from the grave stone picture taken by Susan. I Just placed them in a grid.
If you look closely it says at the bottom ‘beloved daughters.’ Heartbreaking. First, the tragedy to lose two daughters and second, it seems that neither case was ever solved. Neva drowned but unless we know more, it feels suspicious to me.
Lisa (1960 – 1990)
Lisa Gay Robinette White was found dead on December 22, 1990. She was found inside her home after Sheriff Deputies responded to a report of a disturbance at 21791 Princeton Street, Hayward, California around 340am. When deputies arrived, they found Lisa.
She was fully clothed but the article does not say where inside the house they found her, whether there was any indication of a forced entry, signs of a struggle, how long she had been dead, was the murder weapon found, etc. Was Lisa married? Any partners? Did the neighbors hear anyone leave? The Sacramento Bee from December 23, 1990 just says that there is no clear motive and no suspect.
I tried to find more about their parents. The only thing that I found in the papers was that they were the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. John Philston of Vacaville.
As far as I can tell, both cases were under investigation. I have not found any confirmation that in Neva’s case, it was accidental drowning, and that in Lisa’s case, there was a motive or a suspect.
I will still be trying to find information and will update this case as we go.
RIP Neva Lynn Robinette and Lisa Gay Robinette White.
In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, more information can be found online and in newspaper archives.
We need to get these cases back in the mainstream media, to get people talking again, and if anything, to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are unsolved does not mean that we can forget about them.
I encourage you to share this post on your own social media platforms. By sharing these posts, the cases reach new networks, new connections, and new news feeds. Maybe one day these updates will pop up in the right person’s news feed. This may be someone who can actually help advance the case and that is my goal.