Cell phone records sketch murder route, police say – Palestine Herald Press
Palestine Police believe Andrew Glenn Taylor, Ricky Deann Taylor’s ex-husband, contacted 46-year-old Ricki Taylor while she sat near her truck near his house. Andrew entered her truck, police say, and forced her to drive to a remote location in Houston County, where her body was found off County Road 2120.
On Thursday, Palestine Police released to the Herald-Press the arrest affidavit of 50-year-old Andrew Taylor for the murder of his ex-wife. It contained more details about the crime, including the vehicle discovery.
Evidence does not show whether the murder happened in Anderson or Houston County.
Andrew Taylor faces a murder charge; he remains in the Anderson County Jail on a $1million bond.
On June 22 at 12:25 a.m., Ricki Taylor’s fiance, Donnie Malone, contacted the Palestine Police and reported Ricki was not answering text messages or phone calls. Malone was in North Texas when making the report.
Ricki was moving items out of her house at 216 W. Colorado Street. Officers responded, but could not locate Ricki or her truck.
Malone returned to the Palestine area at 3:53 a.m. on June 22. He called police again because Ricki was not at his house, either.
At 7:22 a.m., Ricki’s truck was found at Willie Meyers Park. Detectives observed the truck’s passenger side-view mirror was missing the back cover. Investigators noticed a small tree branch stuck in the hinge of the passenger mirror. Numerous scratches were found on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
Inside of the vehicle, detectives found a dark-colored gel-like substance smeared on the headliner, passenger seat, and inside of the passenger front window. Detectives considered the substance to be some type of mechanical lubricant or adhesive that was under Taylor’s nails.
Detectives also found an empty handgun holster on the dash, and a live .380 caliber round in the driver’s floorboard. Ricki owned a .380 handgun, Malone told police.
Investigators could not find the gun, but noticed the passenger’s seat was pushed back to suit a taller person.
Ricki’s father, Rickey Garner, helped Taylor move belongings from her house to the Security Storage on Crockett Road. Garner and Taylor left the facility at 7:35 p.m. on June 21. Both went back to Taylor’s house on Colorado Street.
Garner got into his vehicle, and headed east on Colorado Street. Taylor was in front of him before turning south on South Magnolia Street. Garner turned north on South Magnolia Street.
Garner saw Taylor’s truck stopped on Magnolia Street, near West Colorado Street. Garner believed Taylor was on the phone so he continued north on Magnolia Street. Andrew Taylor lives at 1025 South Magnolia Street, which is on the northwest corner of the intersection Ricki was last seen.
On June 22, police checked Ricki’s phone records, translated into a map showing the approximate route the phone traveled. At 7:30 p.m., the phone was at Security Storage on Crockett. At 7:40 p.m. to 8:50 p.m., the phone was back near Colorado and Magnolia streets. Then the signal showed the phone near FM 1990 at 9 p.m. The phone was on Highway 287 south of Elkhart at 9:38 p.m.
At 9:49 p.m., the phone was south of Grapeland. Taylor’s phone was in the 4900 block of County Road 2120 at 10:04 p.m.
At 10:24 p.m., the phone begins returning to Grapeland, and south of Elkhart at 10:34 p.m. It returned to Palestine, near South Loop 256 and Crockett Road, at 10:55 p.m.
Ricki’s phone was at Old Elkhart Road and south Sycamore Street from 10:58 p.m. to 11:08 p.m. Ricki’s phone stayed near South Sycamore and Loop 256, south of Huffsmith, until the battery died.
Detectives followed the phone travel pattern leading them to Ricki’s body, where investigators found the missing back piece of her truck’s passenger’s mirror. A small tree had fresh damage to the bark and limbs. Detectives went through a gate on the property; they found a woman with a single gunshot wound to the head.
On June 22, a woman came home to find Ricki’s and Andrew’s 12-year-old son at her house. The woman noticed that, by 9 p.m., Andrew had not left word about how long the boy would be staying. The woman thought it odd; she had the boy leave a note on his father’s door.
By 10:45 p.m., Andrew still did not call or check on his son. The woman called Applebee’s, where Andrew went often. The bartender confirmed Andrew was not at the bar.
Shortly after the woman called the restaurant, Andrew called her. She did not recognize the number, but realized later it belonged to Andrew. She made several failed attempts to reach him.
Andrew went to the woman’s house at 11 p.m. to inform the woman his son would spend the night at her house.
The bartender told detectives that Taylor typically drinks PBR beer with a man identified as James Mark Messer. That night, Messer reportedly arrived much earlier than Taylor, but the bartender could not remember an exact time, saying Taylor arrived later, drank a few beers, and left. The bartender said that Taylor bought some of Messer’s beers but didn’t buy any food.
Applebee’s provided a receipt that shows Taylor’s MasterCard was swiped at 10:40 p.m.
The bartender said that someone had called the restaurant that night, asking if Andrew Taylor was there and that Taylor arrived after the call.
On June 30, Taylor came to the Palestine Police Department for a voluntary interview.
When he arrived, detectives observed that Taylor had a substance on his hands, arms, and under his fingernails that appeared to be the same substance they found inside Ricki’s truck.
During the interview, Taylor, who is a self-employed handyman, told detectives that, on June 21, he left his home on South Magnolia Street at about 9 a.m. He traveled to Jacksonville, he said, for a construction job where he was building a hand rail out of metal pipe.
Taylor said he left Jacksonville and headed back to Palestine at about 4:30 p.m. with his helper, Chris, and his son. He said he got home at about 5 p.m.
When detectives asked him about the substance on his hand and arm, Taylor said it was an adhesive he used while building the handrail in Jacksonville.
Taylor said that, after he arrived home, he ate and left for Lowe’s at about 7 p.m., where he remained until 8:45 p.m. He said he then drove to Applebee’s and drank beer with Messer until 11:30 p.m.
While there, he said he ordered wonton tacos. Taylor receipt showed that he did not purchase food that night. Taylor said that he drove home, found a note from his son, and went to bed.
During the interview, Taylor told detectives that âsince Ricki’s death, her son is relieved because he does not have to check on his mother anymore.â
On June 29, detective obtained Taylor’s cell phone records, including the phone’s locations on June 21, along with call logs and times.
Based on the cell phone records Taylor’s cell phone was in Palestine, near the area of Burkitt and Haw Street at 10:02 a.m. The phone then shows to be near Roberts and MLK at 11:09 a.m. The phone later shows to be near MLK, west of Palestine.
At 7:35 p.m. the phone showed to be in the area of Sylvan and Vaughn Street. At 8:46 p.m., the phone was on FM 323, east of Palestine. The phone then shows no activity until 10:56 p.m. where it showed to be back near Burkitt and Haw. The locations show that Taylor was not in Jacksonville
The records showed that Taylor was called by Messer at 8:46 p.m. Taylor’s phone shows to be turned off and inactive between 8:48 p.m. and 10:53 p.m. That period matches the time that Ricki’s cell phone leaves Palestine, goes to Houston County, and returns to Palestine.
When detectives confronted Taylor with the discrepancies, he reportedly stood up and refused to continue the interview.
Detective Mark Harcrow believes that Taylor contacted Ricki while she was sitting in her truck near his house, and that he entered the vehicle and forced her to travel to a remote spot in Houston County, where her body was found off County Road 2120. It is still unknown whether Ricki was killed in Anderson or Houston County.