One year after Cordova woman’s disappearance, detectives hope to bring closure to case


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sunday will mark one year since the family of Taquila Hayes reported the nurse and mother missing. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is still working to recover her body, but they’re not giving up hope. 

Her husband, Carl Hayes, is charged with second degree murder and is in the Shelby County Jail on $4 million bond.

“I don’t believe my daughter is living,” Taquila’s mother, Roberta Nutall said in an interview nearly a year ago. “That’s a hard thing to say and it’s killing me on the inside, but I just don’t believe my daughter is with us anymore.”

Detectives say they are confident Taquila is not still alive, but they still want to give her family the closure they deserve.

Carl Hayes, Taquila Hayes

“We knew something was suspicious from the beginning,” said Sgt. Calvin Grantham with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Family reported the nurse missing on Aug. 9, 2019. Six months after Taquila’s reported disappearance investigators charged her husband, Carl Hayes, with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Deputies helped search the couple’s Cordova home and nearby fields and wooded areas. Now nearly a year later, Grantham’s team remains focused on finding Taquila’s remains.

“We talk at least once a week to try to figure out places he might’ve disposed of her body,” Grantham said.

“We’ve checked a lot of information regarding her finances and cell phone usage and so forth, and so it’s not very often that somebody just walks off the face of the earth without having been killed or something other happening to her,” said.

Family says Taquila would never leave her son, or the job she loved as a nurse. 

Also alarming, in details from a search warrant, Carl told detectives he had not seen Taquila for a few months before her reported disappearance. He maintains she left the house with someone he didn’t know after they fought over infidelity issues.

He admitted to using her phone to impersonate her in text messages to other people during the months prior to family realizing something wasn’t right. Investigators also uncovered bank surveillance footage showing Carl withdrawing thousands of dollars from her accounts.

When detectives walked through the couple’s home they noticed fresh paint and new carpet. 

“Just seeing all that stuff it was obvious what has happened in that house,” Grantham said.

But while some parts of the case might be obvious to investigators, they still need help.

“Just to commit a crime of this nature, I don’t believe it can take only one person to do so. If anybody out there has talked to him or knows anything that’s happened that could bring this family some closure, we would definitely want to talk to you,” Grantham said.

If you know anything you’re asked to contact Crime Stoppers 901-528-CASH.

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