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Friends, Co-workers Remember Victims in Rugby Ave. Fire

Posted: Updated: Dec 09, 2014 05:05 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Friends and co-workers of Robin Aldridge and her daughter, Mani, are devastated to hear of their death.  The bodies of both women were discovered during a house fire on Rugby Avenue in Charlottesville on Friday, Dec. 5. Police have opened an investigation, believing the women were murdered.

"It's hard to believe that people who are so good could be victims of such violence," said Michelle Connor, a friend of Robin.

Life-long friends of Robin and Main Aldridge can't imagine who would want to hurt them. "Whatever crossed their door… It's so sad. It's just so sad, and I believe the police will do everything they can to bring people to justice," said Connor.

Friends are concerned Aldridge's willingness to help people could have invited danger. "She may have seen the good in someone that maybe she shouldn't have seen the good in," said Elly Tucker, friend of Robin.

Robin Aldridge was a veteran pre-kindergarten and special education school teacher in Albemarle County. Her daughter, Mani, was a student at Charlottesville High School. Co-workers say children were Robin's life.

"The teacher that every parent wants in their child's corner, because she was always the person who would go the extra mile," said Albemarle Co. Schools Superintendent Dr. Pamela Moran. "I would describe her as one of the most caring, kind, compassionate individuals that I've ever known, both personally and professionally."

School officials say losing both has left a hole in the community.  "When you lose an employee, you lose a teacher, you lose a student. It impacts everyone," said Dr. Matt Haas, assistant superintendent for Albemarle Co. Schools.

The flower memorials that line the driveway of the mother and daughter's home are evidence their lives left an impact on many. 

"She was funny. She was smart. She was a great mom. She was a great educator," Tucker said.

"They were just like two peas in a pod. I don't know how else to describe it," said Conner.

Friends say both of their lives, and the people they touched, can never be forgotten.

A group of friends are pulling together a reward fund for any information pertaining to the homicide investigation.

Officials are encouraging teachers and students to seek counseling if they need to.