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Slain Ga. Nun Nicknamed ‘Mother Teresa’

March 27, 2003

HAMILTON, Ga. (AP) _ The mutilation slaying of a nun shocked residents of her tiny Georgia community, who described her as a saint who fed the hungry, counseled inmates and sold clothes to pay for seniors’ utility bills.

``She was considered the Mother Teresa of Harris County,″ police Chief Dan Colberg said.

Sister Philomena Fogarty of Christ the King Catholic Church would have celebrated her 50th anniversary as a nun this year. Instead, the 450 residents of Hamilton, a rural community 90 miles south of Atlanta, are in mourning.

Fogarty’s body was discovered early Wednesday in Virginia Beach, Va., some 670 miles from Hamilton, police and the FBI said. Her head, feet and hands had been cut off, and the man suspected of killing her _ and abducting another nun who was found unharmed _ was on the run.

Adrian Robinson, 25, was last seen early Wednesday when Norfolk police spotted him driving alone on a dead-end street in the nuns’ car. He fled by foot into a marshy area, leaving behind the car, which investigators said contained human remains.

A half-hour later, Fogarty’s body was found in an office building parking lot in nearby Virginia Beach. The other nun, Lucie Kristofik, was found shaken but unharmed Tuesday at a Norfolk hotel. She told authorities Robinson had left the hotel sometime Tuesday with Fogarty.

Police issued national alerts for Robinson’s capture and went through Norfolk streets distributing brightly colored flyers with his picture.

The FBI said in a statement that Robinson could be traveling to Stamford, Conn., with the intention of killing his estranged wife. Police said Robinson already faces assault and burglary charges in Stamford.

Norfolk police spokesman Chris Amos said late Wednesday that investigators filed warrants against Robinson on two counts of abduction and one count of murder. Amos said a rifle was found in the Norfolk hotel room.

Police have searched for Robinson since Sunday, when he allegedly shot his 56-year-old father, Henry, at the home they shared in Hamilton.

Family members told Georgia authorities that Robinson accused his father of sexually assaulting him before shooting him 16 times. He then allegedly abducted the nuns, apparently to use their car.

Kristofik, 72, told investigators that the two women came home Sunday to find Robinson inside. She said he took $900 in cash, bound and gagged them, put them in their car and drove to Norfolk, some 570 miles away.

``We don’t know if there are any indications that he knew two old ladies would pull up or if this was a sheer crime of opportunity on his part,″ Amos said.

Kristofik was a missionary in Pakistan and has lived in Hamilton for about 12 years, the Rev. Ronnie Madden said. Fogarty, who was in her mid-60s, was from Ireland and was a missionary in Japan. She had lived in Hamilton about 16 years, Madden said.

``Sister Philomena was a saint,″ Madden said. ``She is probably one of the greatest women I have ever met in my life.″

Fogarty often counseled jail inmates, and as recently as last week helped an incarcerated woman get documents to prepare for her case. Fogarty also was instrumental in coordinating a Christian fellowship program that helped the poor and elderly, Harris County manager Carol Silva said.

As police continued their search, residents pleaded for Robinson to surrender.

``My heart goes out to the Robinson family,″ Madden said. ``I know that Sister Philomena would not have a bone of hatred in her body toward (Adrian) and neither do we. I wish he would turn himself in and doesn’t hurt anyone else.″

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