NewsLocal NewsAkron Canton News


New $7,000 reward offered in cold case murder of 19-year-old Akron woman, Taylor Robinson

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 21:34:00-05

AKRON, Ohio — In Carmilla Rucker's living room sits a wooden urn with a picture of her daughter, Taylor Robinson, holding a red rose, but for nearly seven years the urn has been empty.

While placing her hand on it, Rucker said, "This is lonely like I am."

Robinson's skeletal remains were kept at the Summit County Medical Examiner's until last week when they were turned over to a funeral home after investigators determined that no more DNA testing was possible. After Taylor is cremated, her mother will finally be able to place her beloved daughter's ashes in the urn.

Waiting for answers and developments has been agonizing for Rucker ever since her 19-year-old daughter disappeared in 2013. Her body was found more than four months later in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

"She was a soul that God wanted back, so I have to accept what God wanted back," Rucker said.

Nearly seven years after Taylor's tragic death, Summit County Crimestoppers, along with group called "Silent Angels", are putting up a new $7,000 reward for information that leads to Robinson's killer.

"If the money will bring the evil to light, I'll accept it," Rucker said.

Taylor, who was studying to be neonatal nurse and loved animals and the color purple, vanished in May of 2013 while working an overnight shift as a home health aide at a home on Kipling Street in Akron. The family posted missing person flyers and searched neighborhoods over the summer months without finding the teen.

In September of that year, a hiker walking in the woods near Everett and Riverview Roads in Peninsula found a human bone and told a park ranger. Police and the FBI converged on the area and found more of Taylor's skeletal remains.

"We're still looking for whomever committed this trauma to our family, my daughter," Rucker said.

The Summit County Medical Examiner wasn't able to determine a cause of death, but Akron police consider the case a homicide.

In 2013, Private Investigator Tim Dimoff agreed to help the family look for answers at a cost of just one dollar. Dimoff is continuing to investigate and has developed a profile of the killer.

"This is somebody that she knew, she knew well and had a longer-term relationship with," Dimoff said.

Dimoff believes there are two possible suspects, but he will not name them publicly. He's hopeful the reward will convince someone who knows the truth to come forward.

"We have strong suspects in mind and really what we're working on is not so much who the suspects are, but coming up with evidence for those specific suspects."

Rucker is praying the renewed focus on her Taylor's cold case will bring justice. To that end, a crew from a true crime show is coming to Akron later this month to begin profiling the unsolved killing.

Robinson would have turned 26 on Jan. 28. In keeping with a yearly tradition, Rucker will release purple balloons in her daughter's honor around her birthday. By next year, Rucker hopes the launch takes place while Taylor's killer is in jail.

"I don't even want to know the why. I just want to know the who," she said.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS. Tipsters can remain anonymous.