Police Investigating Rugby Ave. House Fire as Homicide
Police are saying that the the house fire on Rugby Avenue appears to have been purposely set, and that one of the victim's vehicle was stolen from the residence.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville Police Department is now treating the death of an Albemarle County teacher and her daughter as a homicide. Both women were found dead following a house fire along Rugby Avenue on Friday, Dec. 5.
Police released a statement Sunday, saying they believe the house fire was set intentionally and that they are looking for whoever started it.
Although a full autopsy has not yet been completed, investigators say there is reason to believe 58-year-old Robin Christine Aldridge and 17-year-old Mani Viktoria Aldridge suffered from blunt force trauma.
Police say Aldridge's car, a light blue 2003 Toyota Matrix, was stolen the night of the fire. The car was discovered in the parking lot of the Barracks West Apartment complex on Saturday, Dec. 6, and has since been taken by authorities to be searched. Investigators also took a dumpster from the apartment complex, which police say may contain evidence.
Officials have released a picture of Aldridge's vehicle, along with a picture of the type of shoes they believe the suspect was wearing that night. Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen this car or the person driving it Friday night into early Saturday morning to call the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280.
Currently, police do not have a description for that suspect.
Police may hold a press conference Monday, Dec. 8, to release further information about the investigation.
Robin was a teacher at Hollymead Elementary in Albemarle County, and Mani was a junior at Charlottesville High School.
There is no word yet if a public vigil will be organized in their memory, but a letter from the principal of CHS has been sent out notifying students, parents, and faculty of the loss of Mani and Robin.