Growing up as a special needs child, Robin Blasnek was a loving, caring girl whose naïvete made it hard for her to make strong friendships, her father Steve Blasnek said Tuesday. But despite that, she never gave up trying and always forgave.
"I can tell you Robin was just a sweet, kind, gentle person. She did have some slight disabilities," he told the Tribune.
"She was just a great kid. Very, very naïve, and pure as far as not understanding the dangers of the world."
That danger became real late Sunday. Acquaintances of Robin, 22, say she left her house, dressed in pajamas and slippers, to go see a young man they described as her boyfriend.
On her way to his house on Grandview Street, she was shot about 11 p.m. at the corner of Gilbert Road. Neighbors tried to save her. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Mesa police are investigating whether the incident is the work of the Serial Shooter, believed responsible for 35 other shootings.
Blasnek said he never realized his daughter had left the house that night.
Before the couple went to bed, they talked with Robin and discussed her progress at a Tempe group home, where she stayed Monday through Friday.
The next thing he knew, police were knocking on his door at 5 a.m.
Now, the family is struggling to cope as they plan a funeral service for Robin. They can't stop thinking about Robin, her struggles and achievements.
Her death has shaken the community. On Tuesday, nine members of the Guardian Angels group patrolled the streets to protect the public and look for suspicious activity.
A large donation to Silent Witness has allowed the tip program to offer a $100,000 reward for the capture of both serial killers, the city of Phoenix announced.
Blasnek hopes his daughter's killer is caught so no one else gets hurt. He says his family is not seeking revenge, and believes some day, the killer will be "called to account for what he's done."
Tribune staff writers Christian Richardson and Gary Grado contributed to this report.