94-year-old’s death ruled a homicide in Richland County, officials say

The victim was identified as Robbie Atkinson, a respected educator in the Midlands
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:46 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Officials with the Richland County Coroner’s Office and Columbia Police Department are investigating the homicide of a 94-year-old woman.

Officials say at approximately 3 p.m. on September 18 officers were dispatched to the 1700 block of Calhoun Street regarding an unaccompanied death. A relative called 911 after finding Robbie Atkinson deceased.

According to officials, there were no immediate signs of foul play at the scene. However, an autopsy conducted by the Richland County Coroner’s Office determined evidence of a homicide.

“We’ve initiated a homicide investigation,” Chief Skip Holbrook. “We work very closely with the coroner’s office as we proceed through this investigation. We have a lot of work to do and will update you as necessary.”

Atkinson taught English at Allen University from 1952 to 1985. She graduated from the university in 1946.

“She was a respected educator for many decades in our community and we’re asking that if you saw anyone near the home or the premises that you reach out,” said Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford.

The Columbia Police Department continues to work with the Richland County Coroners Office on the investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC.

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