HERMINIE, Pa. (KDKA) – Off I-77 in Bland County, Virginia, a small patriotic memorial sits near a back country road. It’s where one week ago today, the body of Bruce Ritchie was discovered. The 57-year-old Hermine man was the victim of an apparent homicide.
Bruce Ritchie’s wife Dawn told KDKA, “The hardest part was he was away on business when it happened. There’s still this nagging feeling he’ll be home.”
Dawn sat down to talk about the loss of the love of her life and father of the couples’ four adopted children.
“You couldn’t ask for a better husband,” she said. “I would say 60 to 70 percent of his job was traveling.”
Bruce was an instructor for Westinghouse nuclear division and did a lot of traveling. He was headed home when he was stabbed to death. Dawn was left with the terrible task of telling three boys and one girl.
“We sat down and told them he had passed. At that point, I didn’t know how to tell them he was murdered. They’re just in shock. They can’t believe it — ‘Dad is so tall and so big and how could somebody do that to him?'”
The absolute loss of this senseless crime is captured by things like a tree house unfinished and a planned family trip to Disney World now gone.
Somewhere out there, the killer of Bruce Ritche, a 26-year Navy veteran and by all accounts a good man, remain on the run.
For Dawn Ritchie, while finding those responsible for her husband’s murder is important, she can’t let that consume her.
“Do I hope this person gets caught? Absolutely. Do I hope they pay for what they did? Yes, but that can’t be what I focus on, I can’t let that eat away at me because I have too much I have to be responsible for and too much that matters to me to allow them to take that away from me.”
According to the Virginia State Police, nothing was taken from Bruce Ritchie’s person and nothing was removed from his vehicle. The investigation into the killing continues.