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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Former Sikeston woman murdered

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

(Photo)
Phyllis Murray-Townsend Taylor
DECATUR, Ill. - As of Tuesday there are still no suspects in the shooting death of a former Sikeston, Mo., woman.

Authorities are following up leads in the death of Phyllis Murray-Townsend Taylor, 42, whose body was discovered at 1:23 a.m. April 13 in the 1000 block of North Edward Street, just off the alley, said Lt. David Dickerson, who is in charge of the detective division of the Decatur Police Department.

An autopsy Friday afternoon at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield determined that Taylor-Murray died as a result of massive internal hemorrhage of the chest caused by a single gunshot wound. The bullet passed through her arm and entered her chest cavity, causing the internal trauma, Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day told the Decatur Harold and Review.

Dickerson would not release an exact time of death but indicated she had not been there "for days or anything like that."

After the discovery of the body, Decatur police officers spent the early morning hours Friday going door to door through the neighborhood in an ultimately successful effort to determine the woman's identity.

Dickerson described the area where the woman's body was discovered as a high-crime area.

"The information we have been getting she was a street person," he said, adding she reportedly had a history of drug use and other activities.

Dickerson said police had no suspects as of Tuesday afternoon.

Murray-Townsend's parents, Bobby and Versa Townsend, still reside in Sikeston.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Richards Funeral Home in New Madrid. Visitation is planned from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Burial will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery.

Some information provided by the Decatur Herald and Review newspaper.