COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — Police are searching for a 34-year-old suspect after a Collinsville woman was found dead in her home Thursday.
Investigators said officers responded to a disturbance call in the 100 block of Rainbow Drive around 4 p.m. Thursday. When first responders arrived, they found the body of 67-year-old Robin M. Mendez.
Robert Lee Brittin, 34, was later identified as a person of interest in the case.
“Investigators are confident that Brittin and Mendez were associates, and this was not a random act of violence,” Collinsville Chief of Police Stephen Evans said in a press release.
After talking to several witnesses, investigators also learned that Brittin was in possession of the victim’s car. Police described the vehicle as a burgundy 2005 Chevrolet Impala with black rims and Illinois license plate Z888803.
Police said it is believed that Brittin frequents North St. Louis and Washington Park, Illinois.
The victim’s friend, Paddy Blaylock, described Mendez as a “loving person” who mostly kept to herself.
“This is a small community, and we pretty much know everyone,” said Blaylock. “So, I think this is going to have a major impact on the entire community.”
Blaylock said Mendez also worked at the Motomart in Collinsville for more than 30 years.
“She would have given you the shirt on her back. She was amazing,” said Blaylock. “I would see her every day at the Motomart. This is a tragedy and a big loss.”
Authorities encourage anyone with information about the murder to contact the Collinsville Police Department at 618-344-2131.