‘Just turn yourself in’: Victim’s mother speaks out as Lynchburg police continue search for homicide suspects

Two 19 years olds, two juveniles wanted for questioning

Police believe there are witnesses who have yet to come forward.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A mother’s cry for help.

“Only thing I want is justice for my daughter and my grandson,” said Jill Rice.

Her daughter, Samantha Robinson, was shot and killed Jan. 21 while driving down 12th Street in Lynchburg.

28-year-old Samantha Robinson was “simply driving down 12th street when a bullet entered her vehicle” and hit her on Thursday, according to police. She was taken to Centra Lynchburg General Hospital (WSLS)

Rice stood beside her young grandson and called on the community for answers during a press conference Tuesday with Lynchburg police.

Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema believes Robinson was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“She was an innocent woman driving down the street. That’s all she was doing. She was not involved in anything she shouldn’t have been involved in,” said Zuidema.

Dia Montae Taylor and Leondre Strange (Lynchburg Police Department)

Police are still looking for two 19-year-olds, Dia Montae Taylor and Leondre Strange. Both also have outstanding arrest warrants unrelated to the incident.

Authorities are also searching for two juveniles, 15-year-old Kevon McDaniel and 16-year-old Zyquarius Sims, who may have been witnesses.

This is part of a string of crimes in the Hill City in recent months.

Zuidema said they know there are people out there with information.

“This is a time we need to step up. This is a time where people need to realize these crimes don’t just happen and no one’s impacted by them. You’re looking at two people right beside me that, unfortunately, were tragically impacted by this crime; and there are others that are impacted as well.”

It’s an impact Rice wants answers to.

“I don’t hate nobody because I wasn’t raised like that. Just turn yourself in, that’s the only thing I’m asking you. Just turn yourself in for justice for my grandbaby,” Rice said.

LPD says if you have any information, you can call Crime Stoppers and remain anonymous.


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.