COVINGTON, Tenn. — The mother of Tamia Taylor gave thanks Wednesday to everyone involved in the 16-day search for her daughter, whose body was recovered from the Mississippi River after she disappeared on a cruise with friends on her 21st birthday.
“We’re gonna thank the world for all the love and support they’ve shown us,” Debra Taylor said. “I prayed along with other people that prayed with us, and He gave me what I asked for: comfort. .. God is still in control of this whole situation.”
Memphis Police say they do not believe foul play was involved. Their investigation is ongoing.
But while Taylor gave her respects to the Memphis Police Department and other agencies that played a part in “bringing Tamia home,” she also said she thinks someone may have been involved in her daughter’s death.
“I don’t really think that she done this to herself. She loved life too much,” she said. “I appreciate all the love and condolences. But we, as African Americans, we do this to ourselves, because whoever done this is another African American.”
Tamia’s body was identified by authorities Tuesday, after it was found over the weekend on the Arkansas side of the river, downstream from the Memphis harbor.
Tamia was friendly and saw the good in everybody, her mother said. The Brownsville resident leaves behind two children and a 12-year-old brother Caden, who was hit hard by his sister’s death.
“She was one of my closest friends,” he said. “As my sister, I loved her so much, but it just doesn’t feel well to not have her here.”
Debra Taylor was outspoken against those who’ve been critical of search efforts, but did not come forward to help.
“Why didn’t you say nothing 16 days ago? Where were your cameras, where were your phones, where was all of this at 16 days ago,” she asked.
Wednesday at Tamia’s apartment in Brownsville, Tennessee, neighbors placed flowers and balloons in memory of their friend.
“As family ‘on the hill,’ we also going to definitely make sure that she’s remembered and she will be missed,” said Damon Lee, one of Tamia’s neighbors.
Funeral services for Tamia are incomplete.