MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Family members of Tamia Taylor are anxiously awaiting for officials to identify a woman’s body that was recovered from the Mississippi River over the weekend.
It’s been over two weeks since 21-year-old Tamia Taylor disappeared while celebrating her milestone birthday on a Midnight Booze Cruise along the Mississippi River.
“My heart. My heart just grieves for Tamia’s experience that night. It just grieves for it. It just seemed as if no one cared about Tamia’s life,” said Taylor’s cousin Devante Hill.
Now, a new possible development: a woman’s body recovered from the river Saturday afternoon in Crittenden County, Arkansas. WREG was the first crew on the scene as Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis crossed state lines to assist in the investigation.
“We don’t know, one, if this was Tamia’s body, and secondly, if it is, we don’t know if she was dumped there or placed there, put there or did she wash up on the water,” Hill said.
Hill said through it all, Tamia’s mother, Debra Taylor, is holding on to hope.
“She is just a beacon of strength, a beacon of hope. She’s just a beacon of courage for a lot of people who don’t know what to do or say in this moment,” Hill said.
WREG learned DNA samples from Taylor’s mother were taken Monday morning to identify the body found in the river.
As they wait for results, Taylor’s whereabouts remain unknown after traveling with three friends from the Jackson, Tennessee area to downtown Memphis.
“We need to know what happened to Tamia, and someone needs to be held accountable for their negligence that night, whether its Memphis Riverboat, whether its the peers,” Hill said.
We asked Hill if he’s had any contact with the friends Taylor was with that night.
“I have a hard time calling these individuals friends. I have traveled all across the world with my friends and I cannot go to the bathroom yet alone, the bathroom inebriated without my cell phone, and my friends leave me when we came together,” Hill said.
Hill said he’s also questioning why there weren’t cameras on the boat.
“You cannot take people into the middle of the Mississippi River and have no cameras and if anything goes wrong no one sees it. It’s the perfect crime scene,” he said.
Hill said the family is awaiting the call from MPD to identify the body. We don’t have a timeline on how long this process could take.