By Daniel Jones, editor, Sabine Index
Juanice Gray contributed to this report
A sad year became suddenly worse Oct. 7 when a search party organized by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, including Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, found the body of Taylor Nichols in a wooded area 600 yards west of Hwy 171. A search for the 27-year-old was sparked near the end of September after the deceased had not been heard from since Sept. 18. Her beige 2004 Ford Expedition was reported in the Many Wal-Mart parking lot.
On Oct. 2, detectives reviewed security footage from Wal-Mart that showed Nichols parked her vehicle before entering the store for a short time. Upon exit, she went back to her vehicle, then started walking toward the south exit of the parking lot. Later, her ID card was found in the field between Wal-Mart and Patrick-Miller Tractor Co.
The area became an area of interest. Her vehicle was also taken for processing for possible evidence. A survey of additional security camera footage from neighboring businesses contained further evidence. Her cell phone records also show no usage since the date of disappearance. Detectives interviewed several acquaintances for leads, in addition to contacting the FBI Shreveport Office.
More evidence trickled in after leggings, shoes, a facemask and $5 bill were found in the area. The public assisted with several searches over the course of the next few days.
Sabine Parish deputies and first responders and the Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office search and rescue unit consisting of five NPSO deputies and investigators and two Natchitoches Parish Fire Dist. 7 volunteers continued search efforts. Law enforcement was briefed at 8:30 a.m. on execution of a grid-pattern search and a Sabine Parish deputy located the body shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 in an almost impenetrable thicket in a heavily wooded area. Detectives processed the area and do not suspect foul play.
The results of an autopsy are pending.