HOUSTON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Houston County Sheriff Randy Hargrove has reopened a 2017 murder case and is awaiting new DNA test results from a lab in Houston.
Back in June of 2017, Ricki Deann Taylor of Palestine was reported missing by her boyfriend after being seen within walking distance of Willie Myers Park. At the time, the boyfriend told police Taylor didn’t respond to text or phone messages, and she was not at her home when officers went to check.
“She rode down with someone, she was killed in Houston County and that person drove her vehicle back and left it in Palestine,” said Hargrove.
Palestine Police found her truck at the park, but her body was found the next day 40 miles away in Houston County, with a gunshot wound to the head.
Her ex-husband, Andrew Taylor, was arrested and charged with murder a week later, but the grand jury did not indict him. According to the arrest affidavit, investigators used cellphone tracking to find discrepancies in Taylor’s alibi.
Hargrove believes someone should be held accountable.
“I never forgot about the case, I always thought about it. We believe that we may have the complete DNA of our suspect.”Sheriff Randy Hargrove
Texas Ranger Andres De La Garza was also brought in on the case to help expedite the additional evidence.
“We believe that we may have the complete DNA of our suspect,” said Hargrove.
There are three persons of interest: Taylor’s fiancé, her father who she was the last person to see her before she died and her ex-husband.
“We believe there is very likely to be the evidence in all this to identify a suspecting this case and connect this suspect to this homicide,” said Hargrove.