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National Park remains identified as Akron woman

5:47 PM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office has positively identified the remains found in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as Taylor Robinson, the 19-year-old African American woman who went missing from Akron on May 4.

Robinson's family says they have some sense of relief that for the first time in four months, they know where their daughter is Wednesday.

The ME said additional examination of the remains, including anthropologic examination, will need to take place prior to the determination of the cause and manner of death of Robinson.

"We kept hearing about a 'body in the woods.' We couldn't get any accuracy on where," said Tim Dimoff, a private investigator volunteering his services to the family the last few months.

"I wasn't expecting those bones to be ours," said Mary Rucker, Taylor's grandmother.

The remains originally appeared to investigators to be in place longer than Taylor had been missing, leading detectives to tell the family Tuesday the remains were likely not Taylor's.

Wednesday investigators say that was a miscalculation, with decomposition accelerated by weather, animals and other forces.

Dental records confirmed the bones belong to Robinson. Now Akron Police, FBI agents and other investigators focus on how she ended up there.

"This was not done by a stranger. This was someone that did this horrific act that knew Taylor Robinson, had a relationship with her," said Dimoff.

Dimoff, a criminal profiler and former Akron detective, says he believes a confrontation escalated to violence, perhaps at the home on Kipling Avenue where Taylor was last seen.

She was dropped off for her job as a home health aide. Dimoff thinks she might have let someone she knew inside that home, though there was no sign of a struggle there or cover up. Officers did locate her coat and shoes still at the residence.

"It got out of hand, and I think she was accidentally killed, and I think the person panicked, loaded her into a car and took her off," he said.

Investigators hope a $4,000 Crime Stoppers reward will bring out clues from the community. They believe someone out there knows what happened.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office has arranged for anthropologists at Mercyhurst University to search her bones for answers as to when, how and where she died.

Those who loved Taylor are filled with questions as a new mystery unfolds.

"She was just a beautiful girl and I'm not understanding why someone would want to do that to her," said Danyetta Giles, a family friend. "I'm really not understanding."

"I just don't understand why you felt you had to hurt her," said Carmilla to her daughter's killer. "You could have just given her back. You could have just brought her home. You could have just let her go."

"Taylor is our baby," said Mary Rucker, "You took her from us, and we're going to take something from you. Your freedom because you took hers."

Akron Police say it's too early to comment on suspects or persons of interest. 

Officers did try to question an ex-boyfriend shortly after Taylor's disappearance. Akron Police said at the time, he was not cooperative and hired a lawyer.

Dimoff says the forensic evidence, and clues from people out there who know something, are the key to finding Taylor's killer.

Anyone who has tips is asked to call the hotline at 1-877-836-1288. You can provide information and claim the reward without ever using your name.



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