May 15, 2023 | By: William Horne
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and the University of North Florida’s Applied Journalism class.
Taylor McAllister was an outgoing, kindhearted, music-loving girl. “She taught herself to play the guitar, and after high school, wanted to pursue a career in music” her father stated. Her parents, Bill and Leslie love sharing how extraordinary she was. Her Father, Bill expressed, “She was the type of person that whoever met her instantly fell in love with her.” Taylor loved helping people, in high school she would stand up for kids getting bullied and take them under her wing.
People always felt comfortable around Taylor, her mom stated, “Even if she met you one time, if she ran into you at the grocery store, she would give you the biggest hug.” That’s just who Taylor was, she would be so excited about seeing you and just knowing you.” After Taylor’s funeral someone they had never met came up to Taylors parents and said “I met your daughter one time I want you to know she made me feel so special”
Thomasitsa (Mitsa), Taylor’s Best friend stated, “All it took was me hearing a line from SpongeBob in my 7th grade science class, coming from a blonde who became my best friend instantly”. She was one of a kind, her love and energy was contagious, she constantly made everyone laugh.
These are the things that Bill, Leslie and the people who loved her want the world to know about Taylor.
Taylor was always very open and close with her parents. In 2013, she opened up to them about her experimenting with drugs. Taylor had met someone and after only a few months she got married at the age of 19. She moved away with her husband, but when she became pregnant, she decided to move back home to the love and care of her parents and had been sober throughout her pregnancy. 2014 was the year that things were getting back on track for Taylor, she had become a mother to twin girls. “We wanted her home to help take care of her throughout her pregnancy,” said Leslie McAllister. After she gave birth, she was prescribed Percocet’s, which eventually lead to a relapse and a downward spiral that ended in tragedy.
In December 2016, the McAllister family received the most devastating news they could imagine: 22-year-old Taylor had been found dead in an alley in St. Petersburg, Florida. “It felt like everything was moving in slow motion,” her father, Bill McAllister, said, recalling the night of her murder.
On the night of Dec 22, Taylor was in a home where she had been staying with an older man for the past few months. According to reports, the man said he discovered Taylor unconscious and called two friends to transport her to the hospital. She died on the way, the friends told police, and unsure of what to do, they put her body in an alley and fled. Taylor was found the next morning. The three men were convicted of failure to report a death, but no one has been charged for the murder. Her case has since gone cold.
The McAllister family is still searching for answers, appearing on news stations, talk shows and podcasts to tell their daughter’s story. “She loved life, she would have been a great person. She made some terrible mistakes, but drugs don’t define her”.
The family is holding out hope that one day someone will come forward with information that will help reopen the case and find the person who is responsible for the death of their daughter.
“You can never replace the irreplaceable.” “Meatballs forever, in this life and the next” I miss and love her every day my dude. Mitsa expressed.
“As parents, you do not have it in you to stop fighting,” Leslie McAllister said. “I want to be able to tell her twin girls who will never get to know who their mother was that the killer has been found and held responsible for their actions.”
If you have information on the unsolved murder of Taylor McAllister, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
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