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ROBOTTI TRIAL: The last new friend Roxanne Louie would ever make takes the stand

Roxanne Louie was killed Jan. 4, 2015. Her grandmother-in-law Grace Robotti is currently on trial in Kelowna Supreme Court for first degree murder.
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March 22, 2017 - 5:24 PM

"SOMETHING SEEMED TO BE BOTHERING HER."

KELOWNA – Amanda Daniel and Roxanne Louie hit it off immediately.

The two met just a few days before Louie was killed by her son’s great-grandmother. Grace Robotti, currently on trial for second-degree murder. Grace admits she killed Louie with a pry bar during a fight around 2 a.m. Jan. 4, 2015, but denies it was murder.

Daniel and Louie met on New Year’s Eve at a bar in Penticton. Daniel, who arrived alone, approached Louie on the dance floor.

“She was on the dance floor and I was wanting to make friends so I went and started dancing as well,” she said on day two of the Supreme Court trial in Kelowna March 22. “I liked her outfit so I complimented her outfit. After that we just started chatting.”

The two hung out and Daniel offered Louie a ride home at the end of the night. They exchanged phone numbers and continued celebrating the new year until early morning.

At 3 a.m. Daniel was ready to leave so she looked around for Louie. When she was unable to find her so she texted but found out she had already left with a male friend who drove her back to the accused’s mobile home in Penticton.

The next day, Daniel and Louie met up again and the two hung out every day until Louie’s mysterious disappearance Jan. 4.

“My goal in this was to create a friendship,” Daniel testified.

Over the next few days they went to the mall together, the casino for chicken wings and she drove Louie to an appointment.

"We hung out every day," Daniel said.

On Jan. 3, the last time Daniel would see Louie alive, she went to Grace Robotti’s home for dinner. When Grace said she had nothing prepared, the girls decided to go to a Chinese fast food restaurant in the mall but changed their minds on the way. Daniel offered to make dinner at her place but Louie said she'd rather go home and spend time with her son. The two were supposed to fly home to Vancouver the next morning.

“She really seemed like something wasn’t right,” Daniel said in court. "Something seemed to be bothering her.”

She messaged Louie later that night and wished her a good flight but got no reply.

That night, Louie and Grace Robotti got into an argument that turned physical and with Grace’s brother Pier holding her down, Grace hit Louie in the head at least 26 times with a 16 oz metal pry bar. She died within hours and while Grace scrubbed blood from the carpet of her home, Pier dumped the body in a secluded area off Arawana Road near Naramata.

The body wouldn’t be found until a week later when two people came into the Penticton detachment Jan. 11 saying they had information about the disappearance. Pier and Grace Robotti were arrested immediately afterwards.

Investigators found the body and trail of blood after clearing six inches of snow from the side of the gravel road down the 6 metre bank to where Roxanne Louie’s body was lying face down behind a tree.

The trial is expected to last four more weeks and involve at least a dozen more witnesses, after which time the results of Pier Robotti’s trial will be made public.

Grace Elinor Robotti is led out of Penticton courthouse after a brief appearance in 2015.
Grace Elinor Robotti is led out of Penticton courthouse after a brief appearance in 2015.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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