Celia McCollum, 36, the great niece of Taylor and the person who allegedly found her remains, said that the situation behind her great aunt’s disappearance is still a mystery over a decade later.
McCollum, a resident of Georgia, has ties to Trigg County and also in Murray and still has family there, she said, which caused her to come to Trigg County to look for heirlooms that may have been left behind.
"We had went to the home to find family heirlooms like pictures and that kind of stuff that we could possibly keep in the family," she said. "We just got to looking a little too much, I guess you could say."
At the time of her disappearance, Taylor allegedly had a large nest egg buried or kept somewhere in the house. McCollum said that this was no part of her trip to western Kentucky to dig up lost memories.
"The money is gone," she said.
McCollum lived in Calloway County for much of her life until her family moved to Georgia. She said that during her life in Kentucky, they would occasionally venture to Trigg County to see the family members that lived here.
When her aunt disappeared, her family had already moved to Georgia. Her father, mother and brother came to Trigg County when they got word of her disappearance, however she was unable to make the trip.
"It was a few days after she went missing that anyone called and told us," McCollum said. "(McCollum’s family) said there were hundreds of people out there helping look for her."
Unfortunately, at the time, nothing was recovered. It wasn’t until 12 years later that McCollum got the "total shock" that she wasn’t expecting.
"Just total shock," McCollum said about what she thought when she found the bones. "We never thought if she was there she would be inside the house. We always thought she might have fell in the cistern or she might have wandered off, or a lot of things to tell you the truth."
But now McCollum said things are "pretty simple." She said there are two possibilities as to the explanation behind the disappearance.
"Either one of two things happened," she said. "Either the sheriff’s department didn’t search the house as hard as many times as they said they searched, or there is foul play involved to where somebody took her off and kept her long enough for it to cool down and brought her body back."
At this point, anything is possible. Sheriff Randy Clark said that there were several different people from many different agencies that searched the area when Taylor first came up missing including deputies, fire department personnel and state police officials including a cadaver dog that allegedly found nothing at the site.
The lack of answers, McCollum said, has made this situation especially difficult.
"Since we live out of state, we hear a lot, from a lot of people in Trigg County," she said. "So we never know what’s not true and we never know what is true. It’s hard for us."
When McCollum found the bones, she said she backed off and waited for law enforcement personnel to arrive and do a "thorough investigation to how everything got to where it was."
She said in the fruit cellar, which is where the remains were located, there were lots of clothes, shoes a piece of tin and couple of boards. She said the bones were found underneath a couple of bags of clothes, the tin and boards, contrary to reports that the body was underneath five feet of trash.
And she said that finding the bones and cellar in the condition that it was, leads her to believe certain things.
"Either (law enforcement personnel) have never searched it, or if they have, someone had her in the beginning and then they brought her back," she said.
She added that she was not attempting to make allegations against the Trigg County Sheriff’s Department and their practices. Although she said she has an idea of who could have possibly perpetrated a stunt like this, however they are deceased and she refused to give additional information.
For now, she said the location of the remains give her family a certain kind of closure, but at the same time, opens a new world of anger.
"We’re mad, we’re upset," she said. "Somebody needs to give some answers, first of all, and they need to make sure they are right this time."
An autopsy is still pending on the remains in Frankfort.