Murdered Beach mother met accused killer while serving together in Army Reserves

Two young mothers–their bodies both found in closets–killed by the same man, according to police.

Mandi Myers and Phylicia Robinson never met in their lifetimes, but now, their families are reaching out to each other after their deaths, trying to make sense of a tragic situation.

According to court documents just obtained by NewsChannel 3, Jamiel Graves admitted to police that he strangled his ex-girlfriend Mandi Myers, but the paperwork doesn’t explain why.

Those same records show that it was Mandi’s sister who discovered her dead Monday afternoon–naked, and locked in a closet.

Less than 24 hours later, on Tuesday morning, police say Phylicia Robinson’s body was found in a closet inside the Norfolk home of Jamiel Graves.

The 26-year-old mother had been missing for almost two months.
So why did both women have to die?

Robinson’s family says she had no relationship with her accused murderer, other than the fact they were neighbors.

In contrast, Graves and Mandi Myers share a long history together.

They met while serving in the Army Reserves together. Both were truck drivers with the 310th Sustainment Command at the Fort Story Reserve Center.

They deployed together to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, and became a couple, eventually having two daughters together.

Mandi left the Reserves in 2004 to become a nurse while Graves went on to serve in Iraq. The two later broke up, and friends say he was never around much after that.

For some reason, though, he came to her Virginia Beach apartment the Sunday after Thanksgiving, that’s when police say he strangled her.

Both families are still trying to figure out if one murder led to another, but no matter what the motive, it could cost Jamiel Graves his life–he is now eligible for the death penalty.

Related: 

Prosecutors could seek death penalty for man accused of strangling ex-girlfriend

Man charged with murder of two women served in the military

Body of missing Norfolk mother found in neighbor’s closet

Family says body found in Norfolk has been identified

Family of missing Norfolk woman fears the worst after unidentified body is found

Officials say Beach woman allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend died from strangulation