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Virginia family still searches for killer of beloved mother and grandmother

Faye Tinsley Charlottesville, Virginia

Pherbia Antoinette “Faye” Tinsley was murdered on July 14, 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her family cannot bring their beloved Faye back but they feel they owe it to her to bring her murderer to justice.

Faye spent her entire life taking care of others and showing those around her love. Her daughter recalls many nights of friends and neighborhood kids eating at their house because they needed a place to go for dinner. Faye never turned anyone away. Though she suffered from being Bipolar, she did not let her disability change her heart. In fact when she was having a Bipolar episode she would spend more money than she should and she often used her spending sprees to help those around her. Once when a neighbor needed furniture she gave away her own living room couch. Faye loved life. She loved her children above all else. Her grand baby was her whole world. She watched her grandchild for her daughter while her daughter went to school 6 days a week for 10 months. She spoiled her grand baby and enjoyed spending time with her. She would drive her daughter to school then go back and pick her up every single day just to get her through school so she could graduate. She was always doing and caring for others. She enjoyed singing, playing piano and cooking.

Faye loved to play Bingo. In fact, she went to Bingo on July 13, 2012 and won some money. That money, coupled with Faye’s desire to help those around her, may have been what led to Faye’s demise.


  • One theory is that Faye received a phone call in the middle of the night, asking her for a ride, and she left to pick the person up, to never be seen again.
  • Another theory is that she answered her live in boyfriend’s phone while he was in the shower, and spoke with his lover who was pregnant with twins. She agreed to meet up with her and was never seen alive again.
  • A third theory is that someone saw her win the money at Bingo or overheard her talking about winning money, somehow lured her out of her house and killed her to rob her.

The thing about theories is they will not hold up in a court of law. You have to have proof. You have to have a witness come forward. You have to have something that convinces the jurors your theories make sense and are credible enough to convict someone of murder.

Faye’s family is pleading for anyone who knows anything about her murder or the night of her murder to come forward with that information.

The facts that are presented:

At 4:15 AM, on the morning of July 14, 2012, Pherbia Antoinette “Faye” Tinsley was fatally shot while sitting in the driver’s seat of her green Honda in the 800 block of Prospect Avenue, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Police found her slumped over the steering wheel later that morning and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect in her case is an unknown black male with a stocky build, between 5’8″ and 5’11”. He had a thin mustache with a small beard on his chin. He had tattoos on both arms with cursive type lettering, and tattoos on both hands, one with possibly the letter “M” and another with the letter “C”.

Telambria Tinsley

Faye’s daughter Telambria Tinsley remembers the morning her mother was murdered. Her mom was supposed to watch her child and she never showed up so she went to her house to look for her. Her cousin told her that her mom’s car was over by her house but Telambria believed that her mom’s boyfriend may have been driving the car, so she drove to her mom’s house to ask her why she had not picked her daughter up yet. When she got there she found her mother’s boyfriend in the living room. She says he told her that her mom was not home. He did not seem concerned to her, but she was. She was later told about her mother’s murder and had to call her brother, who was away on weekend duty. That was one of the hardest phone calls she has ever made. Her mom, who was a retired Army veteran, was the strong one; so she had to be strong for her. She is still trying to be strong for her mom after all these years of unanswered questions.


“We just need closure,” Telambria says as her voice chokes up. “They took my mom and my kid’s grandmother away. I was always with my mom. She dedicated her life to help me and I want to do this one last thing for her.”

Faye Tinsley

Faye Tinsley’s case is still unsolved. The Charlottesville Police Department is asking anyone with information pertaining to the murder of Faye Tinsley to contact Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

Story by Karla Vanatta Karla Vanatta

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