Family holding onto hope during lengthy search for missing mother and nurse

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As detectives investigate the mysterious disappearance of Taquila Hayes, a mother and a nurse reported missing for more than a month, her mother said she needs to keep her daughter's story alive.

Roberta Nutall is desperate for answers in the strange case and holding out hope someone might know something about what happened to her daughter.

"I do believe that my child is deceased," Nutall said.

Those are incredibly painful words for any mother to say.

"That grief has turned into anger," she said.

Detectives with Shelby County Sheriff's Office have been working to figure out what happened to Hayes since she was reported missing August 9.

But as it turns out, her family actually hadn't heard from her since the end of May, and they still haven't.

"Four months we're into, September has gone by," Nutall said. "We've not heard anything from her."

Family members originally thought she was OK and said her husband told them she'd been at their home.

It was when Hayes missed her son's birthday and first day of school that alarm bells went off. Her husband claimed she left, but he didn't say where, leaving her car at their Cordova home. Hayes' family isn't buying that claim.

"I don't want her to be forgotten, you know, she was a living, breathing human being," Nutall said. "Beautiful person, inside and out. She loved people, of course. She's a nurse. She loved helping people."

Hayes' absence now haunts her mother as she looks for answers and possibly clues.

"I'm always looking when I'm driving down country roads," Nutall said. "I'm always looking in ditches. I'm getting out walking, going into woods. I'm looking over bridges. Just everywhere I go, I'm looking. I'm constantly looking."

She believes someone knows something about her daughter.

"I want to know what happened to her," she said. "Maybe somebody might know something. Maybe somebody, maybe her husband said something to somebody."

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office is still treating the case as a missing person's case.

Anyone with any information should contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Detective Office at (901) 222-5600.

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