Phoenix police hoping for leads in 1978 murder case

May 17, 2021, 10:30 AM | Updated: 2:30 pm
Robbin Burgette (Silent Witness Photo)...
Robbin Burgette (Silent Witness Photo)
(Silent Witness Photo)

This article originally appeared May 16, 2016.

“I have a very distinct memory of that day,” Chad Burgette said. “It’s as clear as if it was yesterday.”

When he was 11, he returned to his family’s apartment and opened the door to a horrific scene: His 16-year-old sister, Robbin, murdered.

“I don’t believe I will ever be able to un-see that,” he said.

Phoenix police cold case Detective Clark Schwartzkopf calls the murder a crime of brutality.

Robbin was killed in March 1978 at an apartment near 26th Street and McDowell Road, where she lived with her mom and brother. They’d been away for the weekend while she baby-sat at an apartment on the west side of Phoenix.

“She had been brought back home early,” Schwartzkopf said. “And we know there were problems at the other complex with a gentleman making advances on her while she was baby-sitting there for the three weeks before her murder.”

Burgette described his sister as very outgoing.

“She loved life and loved being outdoors,” he said. “She hated wearing shoes and loved the hot summers. She was a great sister and she was my friend.”

Burgette said their single mother didn’t have a lot of money.

“Our weekends were spent at Saguaro Lake,” he said. “We’d swim and spend the night there. We also did a lot of horseback riding at South Mountain.”

Just three years after his sister’s murder, Burgette’s mother, a diabetic, passed away. He said she never got over Robbin’s death. It devastated her and she stopped taking her insulin.

Schwartzkopf said there is DNA evidence from the murder scene but there has been no match so far. Officers need leads on where else to look for a possible match. Investigators believe there were at least two people present when the murder happened.

“It’s time they paid their debt to society and paid their debt to my family,” Burgette said.

Read more about the case here.

Silent Witness

(Pexels Photo)...
Jayme West

Police searching for suspects in 2016 Phoenix nightclub robbery

Phoenix police are searching for six men who allegedly robbed the popular El Capri Nightclub near 21st and Van Buren streets in 2016.
7 days ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Jayme West

Police looking for clues after overdosed woman dumped in Phoenix lot in 2016

Phoenix police are looking for clues in the case of a young woman who was overdosing and dumped in an empty lot next to a convenience store in 2016.
14 days ago
Maureen Brown. (Silent Witness Photo)...
Jayme West

Police searching for leads in Scottsdale hit-and-run driver case

Police are searching for a suspect in a hit-and-run case in Scottsdale that cost a Valley woman a year of her life in recovery.
21 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Jayme West

Phoenix police looking for clues in man’s 2006 murder

Phoenix police are hoping someone knows about a pair of men who are suspected of killing another man in an alley in 2006.
28 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Jayme West

Police searching for clues in Phoenix woman’s brutal 2010 murder

Police are hoping someone has information on the brutal January 2010 murder of a Phoenix woman. Her body was found in a church parking lot.
1 month ago
(Goodyear Police Department Photo)...

Goodyear police seek suspect in fatal hit-and-run with pedestrian

The Goodyear Police Department is searching for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian Tuesday night.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Phoenix police hoping for leads in 1978 murder case