The death of 69-year-old Virginia Hill, a great-grandmother of 15 and retired Philadelphia police detective, is still unfathomable for so many people.
Hill was shot and killed last Saturday morning in her Suffolk home. Police have not yet been able to identify a suspect in her murder.
Friends, family and co-workers celebrated her life at her viewing on Friday.
Rose Rogers took the trip from Texas to say goodbye to the friend she says she met when she was just 4-years-old.
“I was jumping rope and this voice came up behind me and says, hey little girl, can I play with you? That was 66 years ago and we have been friends ever since,” Rose says.
They were inseparable until Rose went into the Army and Hill became a Philadelphia Police officer.
There she would spend the next 20+ years dedicating her life to solving missing children cases.
She spent 15 of those years working side by side with Arthur Torrence. He worked in solving cases with the Postal Service.
“We had a good time and she solved a lot of cases. She’s like a bull dog, once she gets on you, she’s going to take the investigation until the end no matter how long it took to find them,” he says. "She would primarily work cold cases that were investigated 10-15 years ago. Virginia would go back through the case file and look for tips."
In 2002, Hill was selected as police officer of the month for the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. According to it's website, Hill's biggest challenge was the case of 16-year old Martin Burkle. He had been missing for 25 years and Hill's commitment to work with other agencies and look at every detail helped find his body.
Arthur says Hill’s inspiration came from the fact that even if the end result was death, it would help bring some type of closure to the families.
Now he has no doubt police will work just as hard as she did in solving her murder.
“Because Virginia now is the victim, I’m sure they’re going to go all out and find out just exactly what happened and who did what. So we are confident it will be solved in time,” he says.
Until then, her loved ones will say goodbye.
“I just couldn`t let her go without saying goodbye, saying hey little girl, can I play with you? You know, just kind of, I feel like she`s in heaven. I feel like perhaps she can hear me say here is Rose, someone in my life who has never really left me.”
Virginia’s funeral will be held on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at New Mt. Joy Food for Living Ministries Church in Suffolk.