Middle Tennessee Mysteries is dedicated to shining a light on cold cases, unsolved murders and missing people in Tennessee.

Shelby County: Daisy Taylor

Jan 13, 2020 at 03:00 pm by Michelle Willard

Daisy Taylor from Shelby County

It was Nov. 2, 2012, when Trinetta Dodson last talked to her mother Daisy Taylor.

The women talked over the phone as Daisy likely sat at her kitchen table in Raleigh, Tennessee, a community in north-central Memphis. Daisy talked to Trinetta about her plans for the day, picking up a paycheck before heading to a senior care home health worker.

An hour later Daisy was found shot to death in a ditch in Arkansas and her car was set on fire in Memphis. There were no clues at the scene or in the burned out car as to who may have wanted to kill her.

Crittenden County, Arkansas, Crime Stoppers is asking anyone with information to contact them at 870-732-4444. All calls are confidential.

The Victim

Daisy Taylor was 56 years old when she was shot to death and her car stolen. A home-health worker and loving mother, Daisy lived in Raleigh, Tennessee, a community in north-central Memphis.

By all accounts, she was a well-liked, church-going, hard-working person.

When asked what she misses most, her daughter Trinetta (Dodson) said "her smile, talking to her! My mom worked two jobs and went to church on Sundays."

Dodson said her mother wasn't the type to have enemies, unpaid debts or anything that would led to an unsolved murder.

The Crime

Around 11 a.m. Nov. 2, 2012, Christopher Jones heard an explosion outside his home in Memphis.

"I looked out the window and I just saw a car was ablaze and when I was going toward my kitchen door I heard it explode at least one more time," Jones said in an interview with WMC Action News 5.

The car, a 2012 gold Chevy Impala that belonged to Daisy, was found at the intersection of Crump Boulevard and Mason Street.

The Impala was deliberately set on fire, investigators with the Memphis Police Department said. All that was left as a burned-out shell of a car, meaning any physical evidence was destroyed by the fire.

Meanwhile, police were investigating the shooting death of Daisy, who was found in a ditch 20 miles away from her home on Grammon Road in Marion, Arkansas.

She had been discovered in a pool of her own blood by a road crew from Crittenden County, Arkansas. Daisy had been shot three times – once in the right shoulder, once in her hand and once in her head – by a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, Crittenden County Sheriff's Chief of Investigations Todd Grooms told LocalMemphis.com. Grooms added he believes she was shot at the location where she was found.

She was unidentified for about an hour and a half until her car was found in south Memphis.

Investigators believe Daisy's killer used the car to transport her body to Arkansas before setting it ablaze.

The Investigation

In most solvable cases, detectives piece together evidence to track down the perpetrator. But when there is little to no clues, the case can go cold quickly. Because of how the killer or killers covered their tracks, there were no clues, no motive and no suspect.

When there wasn't any physical evidence to start with, investigators began by interviewing family, friends, and co-workers. Anyone they thought could shed a light on Daisy's senseless death were prodded for information.

"We've followed every lead. We've interviewed everybody who had anything to do with her and are at kind of a dead end," Chief Investigator For The Crittenden County Sheriff's Office Mike Callender told About You Magazine in 2013.

One of the last people Daisy talked to was her daughter, Trinetta Dodson. Daisy said her plans for the day were to pick up a paycheck before going to work at 1 o'clock that afternoon. But Daisy was shot by that time. From that information detectives ruled out robbery as a motive.

"We've looked at all the money and love aspects and can't find anything there," Callender said in the interview with AY Magazine. "If she was involved with anyone, we can't find it. She had no active involvement with any men that we could determine. She had no ongoing relationships."

Callender said he believes it was a crime of passion, but not in that way. That Daisy's death was spontaneous and emotional.

"It doesn't make any sense that it would be anything else," he said back in 2013.

In 2017, Grooms released video evidence that shows Daisy's car driving across the scene to where it was burned followed by a second car. They believe it's the best chance of finding the killer.

But there's one problem.

A hornet's nest obscures the part of the frame showing the second car's license plate number.

The Theories

Even though he's unclear on the who or why, Callendar is fairly certain about the how of Daisy's death.

For an unknown reason, Daisy was driven in her own car from her home to Arkansas. She was shot and left for dead in a ditch as the perpetrators drove her car back to Memphis where they set it on fire.

Daisy's body is found a short time later. As the Crittenden County Sheriff's Office processed the scene, the Memphis Police Department receives a call about a burning car. The car is then linked to Daisy.

But for Daisy's daughter, all she wants to know is the who and the why.

"I want to know why. What did my mom do to someone for them to have done her that way and then leave her laying on the street like she was a dog?" she said in the interview with LocalMemphis.com.

Grooms, for one, believes the killer was someone close to Daisy.

"My gut instinct tells me it's going to be someone that knows her and knows her well," he said.

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