The family of Taylor Robinson is pleading for anyone with information about what happened to her to come forward, after her remains were found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Robinson, 19, went missing from a home on Kipling Street in Akron on May 4 where she was working as a health care aide. Taylor attended classes at Kent State University's Stark Campus for a semester last fall.
Two hikers found a jawbone in the Valley Picnic Area off Riverview Road Monday and reported it to National Park Service rangers. The FBI Evidence Response Team helped to gather evidence in the woods just north of the parking area, and found more remains which were identified as Robinson's.
Carmilla Robinson, the mother of Taylor Robinson, along with Jeff Rucker, Carmilla's husband and stepfather to Taylor, spoke to the press Wednesday in front of their home on Archwood Avenue in Akron.
Robinson thanked the two people who had the courage to report the bone they found.
"You've brought our baby home," Robinson said. "It wasn't the way we anticipated and hoped for, but you brought our baby home, and we want to say thank you."
Robinson thanked the Akron Police Department and private investigators for their help.
"Now we have an answer," Robinson said. "Up to this point we were in limbo, but now we have closure. Taylor isn't a lost child any more."
Robinson urged other parents of missing children not to give up in their search.
"They depend on you," Robinson said. "They love you. Don't stop looking for a (missing) child. They need you to remember. They need you to help. They need this community to help. Don't give up on your child."
The remains were identified as Taylor Robinson's through dental records Wednesday, according to Gary Guenther, chief investigator at the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. After the bones are examined by an anthropologist, the medical examiner will determine cause of death.
Carmilla Robinson spoke to those responsible for Taylor's death.
"I just don't understand why you felt you had to hurt her," Robinson said. "You could have just given her back. You could have just brought her home, just let her go."
Robinson said she relied on the strength and support of her family, church, parents and friends along with the professionals investigating the case.
"My parents cry with me. My family cries with me," Robinson said. "When I hurt, they hurt. I appreciate their support."
Robinson described Taylor as a person who cared for mentally challenged people and a person who worked in a day care. She was a church member and played volleyball and softball.
"She wasn't a child who deserved to have her body end up in the park," Robinson said.
"The entire Kent State community is saddened by the loss of Taylor Robinson, who attended our Stark Campus in fall 2012," said KSU spokesperson Emily Vincent. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Taylor's family, friends, and those who knew and loved her as they struggle with such an overwhelming loss."
Private investigator Tim Dimoff, president of SACS Consulting, said he has worked on the case for free since the beginning.
"In this situation you have a whole community of effort with private investigators and the police department," Dimoff said. "We are combining all our efforts."
Dimoff said they will dedicate themselves to finding out what happened and who did it.
"We won't stop looking," he said.
Dimoff said he believes other people besides the ones responsible have information about the death.
"This is a horrific act, and other people know who did it and what happened," Dimoff said. "We want you to come forward and bring this person to justice.
"People know what happened and can give us the pieces of the puzzle we need," he said.
Dimoff said there is a $4,000 reward. Anyone with information can call the Akron Police Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490; Summit County Crime Stoppers at 330-434-2677; or Dimoff at 330-255-1101.
Contact this reporter at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing