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Shooting victim Emily Todd mourned in Conn., Maine

December 16, 2018

Towns on near-opposite ends of New England mourned Saturday for Emily Todd.

While her kind nature was remembered at services in Bethel, friends and family there and in Chebeague Island, Maine, struggled with the cruelty of her death at 25.

Todd’s body was found near a boat launch in Bridgeport on Dec. 9, with a bullet wound in the back of her head. Five days later, 26-year-old Brandon Roberts was arrested in a Cleveland suburb and charged with her murder. There was no new information Saturday from police on the status of his extradition from Ohio.

As mourners spilled out Friday from Bethel Funeral Home, Todd’s friend, Jack Drake, told News 12, “Bethel is a close-knit community, and I think a lot of people took it really hard.”

More services were to follow Saturday morning at Bethel United Methodist Church, and a spiritual ceremony is planned for Dec. 20 at the Chebeague Island Methodist Church.

Todd’s father, Stephen Todd, spoke Thursday to the Portland Press Herald about his daughter’s ties to Maine, which included summer and holiday visits with extended family.

“She is a 10th-generation Chebeague Islander,” he said. “We talked off-and-on about her living on the island, and of course in retrospect, I wish she had.”

Bridgeport police said Emily Todd met Roberts only a couple of weeks before her death, through an online dating ap. But after a few days Todd decided to end their relationship, police said.

“We know she drove her car to meet up with Roberts, but we are still not sure why she decided to meet up with him after breaking up with him, and how she ended up where she was found,” Bridgeport Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald said Friday after Roberts’ arrest.

Police said that after killing Todd, Roberts stole her car, cellphone and debit card, which he used to withdraw from her bank account. He faces charges of murder, felony murder, first-degree robbery, using a firearm in the commission of a felony and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Todd was among Bethel High School’s Class of 2011. She attended Western Connecticut State University in Danbury before graduating in 2016 from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., with a degree in expressive arts therapy.

She worked as a therapeutic recreational assistant at St. John Paul II Center in Danbury.

“A very particular type of person works on this unit and Emily was that,” said her boss, Linda McCue, a director at the center. “She had a very kind soul, passionate, very quiet and she was just lovely with a lot of our residents.”

Todd’s obituary noted that same spirit.

“Emily’s kind and loving nature will forever live in the hearts and minds of all those that were fortunate enough to have known her,” it said.

The obituary’s suggested donations also reflected the way Todd died, and the way she lived. In lieu of flowers, mourners were asked to consider giving to Moms Demand Action, which pushes for stronger laws against gun violence, and to Island Commons, a nonprofit assisted-living community in Chebeague Island.

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