Who was Joy Hibbs and what happened to her?

Who was Joy Hibbs and what happened to her in 1991?

The residents of Croydon, a suburb of Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, were shocked and saddened when Joy Hibbs, a beloved member of their community, was found dead in her home after a fire was extinguished on April 19, 1991.

Initially, authorities believed her tragic death was a result of the fire, but an autopsy revealed that Hibbs had actually been brutally murdered with multiple stab wounds and strangulation.

Joy Hibbs was a medical assistant and loving mother to her two children, David and Angie, in addition to being a devoted wife to her high school sweetheart, Charlie Hibbs.

On the day of her death, she spent time playing with her family’s new puppy, went to the supermarket, and even had an encounter with a reverend and church member who stopped by to invite the family to join their congregation. Her family described Joy as cherished, loved, and inseparable from her son David.

The investigation into Hibbs’ murder led authorities to suspect Robert Atkins, a neighbor who had previously been in a dispute with Hibbs over the quality of marijuana he had sold her.

Despite a solid alibi at the time, decades later, new evidence emerged that implicated Atkins in the brutal killing of Joy Hibbs. In May 2022, Robert Atkins was finally charged with first-degree murder and arson for the death of Joy Hibbs.

After a four-day trial, Robert Atkins was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Joy Hibbs’ family members, including her husband and children, delivered emotional victim impact statements during the trial, expressing the pain and loss they have endured for over three decades. At his sentencing, District Attorney Jen Schorn emphasized the importance of justice being served after so many years of waiting.

Viewers can learn more about Joy Hibbs’ case and the pursuit of justice for her family by watching a special episode of Dateline NBC titled “Justice for Joy.”

The episode, set to air on Friday, April 12, 2024, will include interviews with Joy’s family members and provide insight into the relentless pursuit of justice in this cold case.


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