Cold Case: Who Killed Daisy Taylor?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - A daughter talks with her mother at the kitchen table before going to work. The Memphis woman was at home on the phone with her sister mid-morning.  An hour later, Daisy Taylor was dead on the side of the road in Arkansas. More than four years later her case remains unsolved.  But, Local I-Team Anchor Katina Rankin has uncovered new information that may help investigators solve the case.

It's a plea for help from a still grieving daughter. Her mother was found dead on a stretch of road near Marion, Arkansas.

"Seeing her smile, talking to her! My mom worked two jobs and went to church on Sundays," said Daisy Taylor's daughter, Trinetta Dotson.

Trinetta Dotson says as far as she knows, her mother had no enemies, no one with an ax to grind, no unpaid debts, no bad blood with relatives, nothing which would cause someone to kill her violently.

"There was a body laying on a stretcher, and her head was facing towards us. She was laying face up, and that's all it took for me to see. I could see her hair, and I just lost it," said Dotson.

Journey back to November 2, 2012. 56-year-old Daisy Taylor was in her Raleigh apartment. According to investigators, Taylor's sister called her at her home and spoke with her around 10:00 a.m. in the morning. An hour or so later, a worker with a Crittenden County road crew found Taylor's body in a ditch. She had been shot three times. Investigators say she was murdered right where she was found. 

"There were three gunshots: one in the right shoulder, one on her hand, and one in her head," said Crittenden County Sheriff's Chief of Investigations Todd Grooms. "At first she was a Jane Doe. We had no way of knowing who she was."

But, there was one big murder clue. It was her car. About an hour and a half after her body was found, her car was found in South Memphis near Crump and Danny Thomas. It had been set on fire. The interior burned. Blood evidence, fingerprints, no physical evidence. Everything, gone up in smoke!

Investigators are still stumped.

"To be completely frank, when you shoot someone in the head, you want to kill them," said Grooms.

Katina Rankin asked, "Where do we stand on this case right now?"

"Right now, we've not received any further leads," Grooms answered.

"Who all did you seek out to interview?" Rankin asked.

"Our first interview was with the person who found the body. It's been shown through several investigations over the years -- a lot of the times the person who reports it knows more about it. In this case, it wasn't the incident," Grooms answered.  "Then, we begin to look at people who knew her through friendships, especially intimate relationships, started exploring those and then you begin to look at family members and neighbors."

"Could this possibly be a case, a real-life case, of how to get away with murder?" Katina asked Grooms. 

"Anything is possible," said Grooms.

For Daisy Taylor's daughter Trinetta, there are still many questions. And, the killer is still on the run.

"I want to know why. What did my mom do to someone for them to have done her that way and then leave her laying on the street like she was a dog?" said Dotson.

And while there is no physical evidence to lead to Daisy Taylor's killer, there is newly-released video investigators are releasing to Local 24. It's the car they believe the killer was driving. The only problem, a hornet's nest on the camera's lens, is stopping detectives from getting the tag number. They need your help catching the killer.  

"You can see the victim's car pass in front of the video and actually park where they burned it, and there was a second car behind it," said Grooms. "Hopefully, in a perfect world, somebody will say we suspected this individual and this just confirms it for me."

Plus, there is this!

"What does your gut instinct tell you about the case?" Rankin asked.

"My gut instinct tells me it's going to be someone that knows her and knows her well," said Grooms.

"I need them to come forward and give any information they may have on what happened to my mother," said Dotson.

Investigators say this case is still open. And, there is a reward for information leading to an arrest. If you have any information about the newly released video of the car, or the Daisy Taylor case in general, you're asked to call authorities. The number is 870-702-2000.


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