Dot Friscia, at age 85, after a life of grace and selflessness, was beaten and stabbed.
Linda Friscia, her adopted 65-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities, was beaten and sexually assaulted in that same brutal February home invasion.
Nobody ever was arrested.
And now, both are dead.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
Family members say Dot grieved herself to death.
Linda's death is more than that -- police say her death is murder.
There are no good stories about killings. But what happened to Linda Friscia and Dorothy "Aunt Dot" Friscia is just plain brutal.
Linda Friscia died March 1, a couple of weeks after the attack at 843 Willowbrook Ave., where both lived. In the early hours of Feb. 15, police say, a man knocked on the door. Linda Friscia answered the door and was both physically and sexually assaulted, said Lt. Larry Vaughan of the Rock Hill Police Department's detective division. Dot Friscia was beaten and stabbed.
Broken bones, bruises, and yes, worse.
After Linda Friscia died, the York County coroner's office ruled her death a homicide, Vaughan said. Police have not charged anyone, although a sketch of the attacker has been widespread throughout the neighborhood since. The man's identity, described by police as white, heavyset, and short, remains a mystery.
The case remains open, and police are looking for any information that might help, Vaughan said. But, as Vaughan put it, "Now, both witnesses have died."
Dot Friscia died Sept. 24. Her death is not considered a homicide, Vaughan said. But that doesn't change anything for the family. The last few months of Dot's life were not what a woman who gave so much should have had to go through.
"Aunt Dot felt lost," said Linda's brother, Jerry Craig.
Linda started living with Dot as a child -- Dot is Linda's aunt by birth -- because educational opportunities in Rock Hill for disabled people were scant, said Trudy Webster, Linda's sister. Dot, at the time living in New York, first took guardianship of Linda, then adopted her, to allow for Linda to receive the help she needed, Webster said. Linda always had a loving set of siblings and her mother and father in York County, Webster said.
Linda, who family members say had the mental abilities of a 10-year-old, ended up living with Dot the rest of her life. Dot devoted her life to Linda. Both came back to Rock Hill years ago and lived in the house on Willowbrook Avenue. Jerry Craig, Linda's brother, stopped by almost every morning and most evenings. Other family members were there almost daily.
Linda, because of her disability, was active at Oakdale Baptist Church in programs with children, family said. She sang, and laughed and lived the best life she could.
"She liked to laugh and make you smile," said Webster, Linda's sister.
But then, on a February morning, the smiles of both women were taken from them. First Linda's smile, in an attack so horrific it is now a murder case.
Jerry Craig said it takes "a mean, cruel person to take advantage of someone in Linda's situation."
And now Dot is dead. She died just weeks ago after turning 86.
"Linda was the finest, most generous Christian I ever knew," said the Rev. Jerry Devinney, senior pastor at Oakdale. "And Dot was the most generous soul I ever met. There is a void left, a hole, with their deaths. What happened to these fine people is just horrible."
Dot, so devoted to Linda, often talked after Linda's death that she wished she could have saved Linda, family said. Her devotion to Linda, and the inability to save her, broke Dot's heart.
"She said, 'I was supposed to protect her,'" Trudy Webster said.
Family members, including Linda's siblings and Dot's siblings, as well as Devinney the pastor, are frustrated that no arrest has been made.
"This was the worst thing to happen to them, and it doesn't seem like anybody is doing anything," said Betty Garrison, Dot's sister.
"I have been more than patient," Webster said.
And now, this family waits and wonders if the man who attacked Linda and Dot will ever be caught.
"Dottie always said if she saw the guy who did that to them, she could identify him," said Betty Garrison, Dot's sister. "But now that can't happen."