AKRON, Ohio — An Akron mother is hoping a new reward will heat up a cold case and finally bring justice for Taylor Robinson.
A reward for information leading to the killer stood at $7,000 in 2020, but that has been increased to $10,000. Summit County Crimestoppers and a group known as "Silent Angels" are each offering up to $5,000.
Carmilla Rucker was left heartbroken by the death of her 19-year-old daughter and told News 5 she's grateful for any effort that could solve the case.
"She's never forgotten. I didn't forget, so I appreciate them not forgetting," Rucker said.
On May 3, 2013, Rucker dropped off Robinson at a south Akron home where she was scheduled to work an overnight shift as a home health aide. Their final conversation is forever etched in Rucker's mind.
"She got out of the car and I was like, 'I love you.' And she was like, 'I love you too.' She said, 'I'll see you in the morning,'" Rucker recalled.
But when Rucker returned the next morning, Robinson was nowhere to be found.
"She just disappeared. She was not there anymore. The only thing that was there was her coat and her shoes," Rucker said.
After months of intense searching, Robinson's decomposed body was found by a hiker in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in September 2013.
The Summit County Medical Examiner wasn't able to figure the cause of death, but Akron police consider the case a murder.
"I don't want to know why you did it. I just want to know who did it," Rucker said.
Akron detectives are still investigating Robinson's death but did not provide any updates or comment when contacted by News 5.
Private investigator Tim Dimoff has been looking into the case for many years. He runs the Silent Angels group that is contributing to the reward fund.
"As time goes on, the money becomes more important because of time of distance from the crime," Dimoff said.
Dimoff has developed a profile of the killer which indicates this was not a stranger crime.
"Through our investigation, we have narrowed it down to a couple people that knew Taylor. This isn't somebody that didn't know her. This is someone who knew her very well," he said.
For Rucker, the cold case not only causes her emotional pain year, but it has also taken a physical toll.
She received a kidney transplant in 2010 but said the stress of the murder caused the organ to fail in 2014. She's now back on a waiting list for a kidney.
"God is good. Like I shall find who did this, I shall receive another," she said.
Rucker finds peace reminding others of Robinson's smile, love for animals, and the dream she had of becoming a neonatal nurse.
"She was gorgeous. Everybody loved Taylor," she said.
Rucker said she will continue to hold onto hope that one day she will no longer have to wonder who killed her daughter.
"I hope it is (solved) within my lifetime. While I'm here, I hope to know who."