Thursday, July 29, 2010
Arrest made in botched Boulevard abduction
Posted: 07.28.2010 at 12:43 PM
Myrtle Beach Police arrested a McClellanville man wanted in connection to a kidnapping attempt a week ago in Myrtle Beach -- a case that has eery similarities to that of missing spring breaker Brittanee Drexel.
Shaun Taylor, 37, turned himself in Wednesday morning to face charges of attempted kidnapping and first degree assault. An arrest warrant was obtained Monday, and despite two days of searching, detectives were unable to locate Taylor.
Taylor has been booked at the Myrtle Beach jail and is awaiting a bond hearing.
On July 21, a Tennessee woman reported to police that three men in a van approached her on Ocean Boulevard and tried to kidnap her.
According to the police report, Randa Massey, 20, was walking on Ocean Boulevard near the BlueWater Resort around 4:30 p.m. when she heard what sounded like a van "creep up behind her."
Massey told police two men jumped from the van and tried to pull her into the van, but when she elbowed one of them in the face, she broke free.
She told police a third man waited in the van as a get-away driver.
On Monday, detectives from Myrtle Beach and other assisting law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at Taylor's home on Old Collins Creek Road in Charleston County, near the Georgetown County line.
Police seized several items, including what was presumed to be a stolen truck which has been linked to a homicide in Charleston County, NewsChannel 15 has confirmed.
The suspect van, described as pale blue, that was used in the botched kidnapping was not recovered, according to authorities.
Police say Massey picked Shaun Taylor out of lineup, and police continue to seek information about the two additional men.
As Taylor turned himself in Wednesday morning, Taylor said he said he didn't have much to say.
The following is part of the exchange between this reporter and Taylor as he made his way into the jail. The questions are italicized.
Do you have any comment on the charges you face?
"Nah, not really. I mean it's not me."
Why do you say it's not you?
"because it's not me."
Why do you think they say it's you?
"I'm not sure, but talk to you later. I got to go."
Do you have any idea who might have done this?
"I'm not even from around this area."
The abduction attempt to which police have linked Taylor happened in front of the same hotel where missing spring breaker Brittanee Drexel was last seen on April 25, 2009.
Police have not confirmed a definite link between the two cases, but the same multi-jurisdictional task force created for the Drexel case is also investigating the attempted abduction.
Drexel, then 17 years old and from Rochester, NY, disappeared from Ocean Boulevard around 9:00 p.m. that April night, but she has never been found.
This past April, detectives confirmed they had developed several persons of interest in Drexel's case. All of the persons of interest are from the McClellanville area, though no arrests have been made.
Drexel's cell phone signals were tracked to that area the night she went missing, but her phone has not been recovered. It gave off its last known signal around midnight on April 25, and it pinged from a tower in McClellanville.
While Shaun Taylor wasn't named an official person of interest in Drexel's case, detectives interviewed him and showed strong interest in him during the early stages of the investigation -- which may explain why detectives returned to him and McClellanville after last week's failed abduction.
Again, this reporter asked Taylor about any knowledge of the Drexel case. Here's the following exchange:
Do you know anything about the Brittanee Drexel case?
"Nothing about that."
Do you know that name?
"I see it on TV a lot."
Do you have any idea who might have been involved in that?
"No, I don't."
Were you involved with Brittanee Drexel's disappearance?
"No, I wasn't."
Taylor's recent charges are merely two of many he's faced since the early 1990s, and while he has not been convicted of anything in connection with the abductions, he does have a list of other convictions.
Since 1994, Taylor has been convicted of nearly 30 offenses in Georgetown and Charleston counties.
Taylor was convicted of driving under suspension and giving false information to police in Georgetown County in 1994.
Two years later, in 1996, he was convicted of disorderly conduct, also in Georgetown County. Then in 1998, Taylor was charged and convicted in Charleston County for failing to stop for blue lights and also for criminal domestic violence.
The following year he was found guilty of driving under the influence and, again, driving under suspension in Charleston County.
In 2001, he was convicted of failing to pay child support in Charleston County. In 2005, Taylor was found guilty for another driving under suspension charge.
In between 2001 and 2009, he was convicted of 17 different contempt of court charges.
OTHER CASES GET SECOND LOOK
In February 2001, Shaun Taylor's brother, Randall Keith Taylor, was one of five men arrested and charged in connection to the death of a missing 19-year-old from St. Stephen, SC.
According to The Post and Courier in Charleston, SC, Shannon McConaughey was last seen leaving the Cracker Barrel in North Charleston on Jan. 29, 1998.
Her car was found burned in some woods near Awendaw two weeks later, and her body was found in March of that year in some woods near McClellanville.
Eventually, the charges were dismissed against Taylor and the other men because of what defense attorneys described as a lack of evidence.
Sources on the Drexel case have also raised eyebrows at the mention of a fourth woman, Crystal Gail Soles, who vanished just miles from the McClellanville area in 2005. Soles was last seen leaving Shaw's Corner store near Andrews, and officials think she was abducted.
"There are just too many young, white girls going missing (with a connection to that area)," one source close to the case said.
Respectfully submitted from: http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=488808
(video also at this site and unable to copy to blog)