On February 3, 1987, Columbus residents Brenda West and Robert Valentine were found deceased in their living room. Both had been shot while sitting on the couch. Robbery and murder/suicide were ruled out as possible motives.
West and Valentine had lived at the apartment for a little over a year. West was separated from her husband and in the process of getting a divorce. She was a library aide at a local school.
Police wanted to question the husband but could not find him. As far as I know, they did not find the estranged husband. Did West’s husband commit the murders and steal the car? I wonder if there was a development in the divorce proceedings that sent the husband over the edge.
Was the killer’s motivation due to the fact that West and Valentine were an interracial couple? People weren’t tolerant or accepting of interracial couples in 1987 or even in the present day. Was it a mixture of jealousy and racism?
In 1987, the police did not release a photo or name of the husband. I’m not sure why they would keep the information about the husband a secret. They already stated publicly that they were looking for him so it’s not confidential anymore. It seems like they put the case on the back burner and then forgot about it.
If you have any information or questions about this case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. If you happen to have a photograph of West and Valentine, please contact me at Chasing Destino on Facebook.
Details about Valentine’s missing car: 1973 Chevrolet Impala with Ohio license plates 576 LQQ. Maroon with a black top. I’ve added a photo to show what Valentine’s car looks like.