Cadaver dogs find nothing during Nov. 1 search of Phylicia Robinson's home

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by Cleve Bryan, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 30 at 8:05 PM

NORFOLK-- Phylicia Robinson's family is asking why it took police almost two months to find their daughter and why cadaver dogs that searched a few weeks after her disappearance came up with nothing.

Phylicia Robinson's remains were found in a closet in 29-year-old Jamiel Graves’ apartment by his mother on Tuesday. 

Robinson had lived in the other unit and was reported missing on Oct. 4.

Sarah Platts trains her dogs to detect and alert to the odor of human decomposition. 

Platts' cadaver dogs performed a search in Robinson’s apartment on Nov. 1, but the animals found nothing.

“I got no alerts specifically in her home for it,” says Platts who revealed her search did not include going around Robinson’s duplex because, “It was not one of the things that was indicated that needed to be done."

Although Norfolk Police say Robinson’s body was discovered next door, they say there were no initial signs of a crime when Robinson disappeared in early October.

Police spokesman Chris Amos says investigators had Platts do a K-9  search about three and a half weeks after Robinson’s disappearance mostly to rule out the possibility of a body.

Platts says there’s little chance her dog would have smelled Robinson’s body through the wall to Graves’s apartment if Robinson's body was in fact there during her search.

Neighbors complained of a stench at the duplex but nobody complained the day of Platts' search.

Platts won’t speculate if her dogs might have found Robinson had they looked around the outside of the duplex or come on a different day when people complained of the smell.

“If I had physically run the dogs in the other residence then I would be able to do that, but I can’t say what would or wouldn’t happen without being able to actually run the problem,” says Platts.

Graves has been charged with murder in the death of Robinson.

 

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