Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 25, 2013

Police hope to solve 13-year-old murder


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — MARQUETTE (AP) — It’s been 13 years since a 24-year-old Upper Peninsula woman’s slain body was found in Negaunee Township, but authorities have not given up home of one day making an arrest in the case.

“We have a suspect, but we’re keeping an open mind about it ... This still remains an open investigation and we still receive tips on this case,” Marquette City Detective Capt. Gordon Warchock told The Mining Journal of Marquette.

A cross with flowers and a rosary mark the spot in some woods where the body of Erin Rebecca Taylor was found on Aug. 20, 2000, by a Marquette County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Investigators believe she was strangled in her home and her body then taken to the wooded area miles away. They also suspect the killer knew the area and likely was a local resident.

Dozens of witnesses have been interviewed in the years since, including a man who met Taylor online and planned to meet her at a Munising hotel the night she was killed. Investigators cleared the man as a suspect.

They also collected various pieces of evidence including fibers, hair and blood, but they do not have what they need to make an arrest.

“The Michigan State Police Crime Lab has assisted and been of great help,” Warchock said. “They have taken the initiative to analyze evidence collected in the past for trace evidence and DNA evidence to help bring us to a conclusion.”

Taylor’s best friend, Bonnie Dowd, is among the family members and friends who visit the site where Taylor was found each summer. She visited the site Tuesday and released balloons in her friend’s honor.

“Erin was always outgoing and friendly, she’d help anyone who needed it,” Dowd said.

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Information from: The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net