A week after shooting deaths, Heflin family still seeks answers
by Laura Camper
Oct 29, 2013 | 5846 views |  0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HEFLIN — Family and friends gathered Monday and today for the funerals of Todd Robbins and Krista Medders, both found shot in a Heflin backyard last week.

Questions abounded at the funeral for Robbins today. But police and loved ones are still looking for answers.

After the bodies of Robbins, 31, and Medders, 21, were found outside the home they shared with two other people on Gray Road, police said they believe there was no suspect at large, but haven’t said who fired the shots.

Medders was found in the fetal position and Robbins had been shot in the head, his sister Katie Robbins said today.

Todd Robbins owned a gun, she said, but she doesn’t know whether it was the weapon police found at the scene. Heflin police Chief A.J. Benefield declined to comment on the gun today.

“We’re still waiting on forensics and want to speak with more friends and family before we release too many details of what happened,” Benefield said.

Katie Robbins said today she doesn’t know exactly what happened and finds it hard to believe her brother could have killed Medders.

“We just don’t know how Todd could leave everything and take someone’s life,” Robbins said. “In a way some things don’t sound right to me.”

Still, when she went to Medders’ funeral on Monday, Robbins said she couldn’t stop apologizing to the family.

Robbins, 21, hosted her brother’s funeral at her house, the same house she had occasionally shared with him until a few months ago, when he and Medders moved to the house where they died.

Todd Robbins’ remains were not at the funeral. Her family isn’t the kind to have an open-casket funeral, Robbins said. Todd Robbins’ body was scheduled to be cremated today, she said. She and another brother, Cody Robbins, plan to keep Todd’s ashes, Robbins said.

The deaths still don’t feel real to her, she said. Because the investigation is continuing, police had taken a tablet computer that held the pictures of her brother and Medders, and the room they’d shared on Gray Road was still full of their things, Robbins said.

“In a way, we just don’t want to touch it. We want to leave it the way it was,” she said. “I guess it really hasn’t set in yet that they’re gone.”

A member of Medders’ family contacted by phone today declined to comment. Other efforts to contact family members were unsuccessful.

Robbins said Krista Medders was her best friend and had been ever since they met when they were both 15. Robbins had been new to town, having just moved with her family to Heflin from New Jersey. She met Medders at a football game.

“She was always happy,” Robbins said of her friend. “She never had a frown, ever. She always had that smile.”

A couple of years after the two girls became friends, Medders and Todd Robbins began a romantic relationship, Robbins said. The couple moved in together while Medders was still in high school, Robbins said.

Her brother was working at American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing in Heflin then. About six months ago, he got a new job in construction, but his sister couldn’t remember the name of the company. At his new job he did brickwork and cement work, she said.

Her brother was more reserved than Medders and the two kept their relationship private, Robbins said. That relationship was good for him, she said.

“She got my brother to slow down on drinking,” Robbins said. “She kept him straight.”

But there were clues that all wasn’t well. Todd Robbins wanted a stay-at-home girlfriend and he gave Medders money to keep the house, Robbins said. He didn’t like Medders associating with other men, she said. When Robbins and her boyfriend, Michael Bright, came to visit, Medders would go to the bedroom to avoid Bright; it was Medders’ way to prevent possible conflict, Robbins said. But exactly what kind of conflict there was, Medders hid, Robbins said.

“Krista never really gave me any signs of anything wrong,” Robbins said. “Once in a blue moon she’d be like, ‘Todd’s being mean today.’”

Her brother and Medders broke off their relationship for about a year. They had gotten back together less than a year ago, and it wasn’t working out, Robbins said. Medders was in the process of moving her things from the house on Gray Road, but the two were still trying to talk out their relationship, Robbins added.

“Todd loved Krista,” Robbins said. “And Krista, she had loved Todd. I mean, she went over there by herself. Obviously she loved Todd still.”

Robbins said the family expects to see the autopsy results on Friday.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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