Toddler Helped Lead Police To Man Accused Of Killing Her Mother

NEWARK, Ohio (AP) - A toddler who spent about 10 hours with the body of her mother in their Pataskala home is being credited with helping Licking County authorities identify the man accused of killing her.

When police asked 2-year-old Amanda Boggs who killed her mother, she answered "Nick," said Ken Oswalt, Licking County assistant prosecutor.

That led police to Richard Nicholas Robinson, who has been charged in the fatal stabbing of Rhonda Boggs, 38, on Sunday. Police said Robinson, 30, of Lancaster, confessed after his arrest Tuesday.

Rhonda Boggs' husband, David, 34, was in the Licking County jail at the time of the killing. When told by deputies what his daughter said, Boggs identified Robinson as the only Nick who came to his house, Oswalt said.

Robinson is Boggs' second cousin.

One of Rhonda Boggs' co-workers went to her home Monday morning after she didn't appear for work.

He found her body in the kitchen. He also found Amanda, unharmed.

Oswalt wouldn't say what the motive was. Robinson remained jailed on $1 million bond.

Licking County Coroner Robert Raker said Rhonda Boggs died about 11 p.m. Sunday. She had been stabbed 19 times in the chest and neck with a steak knife found at the scene, he said.

Boggs, who also was hit three times in the head, appeared to have put up a fight, Raker said.

David Boggs said Robinson routinely visited their house and that he had been there last week.

"I saw him enough to trust him around my family," he said.

The Boggses had married in 1998.

Boggs attended Robinson's hearing in Licking County Municipal Court on Tuesday.

"I came to look the guy in the eye who killed my wife," he said. "I'm going to push for the death sentence.

"My wife was a 120-pound woman. He went in and stabbed her to death," Boggs said.

Pataskala is about 20 miles east of Columbus.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)