Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
January 9, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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January 9, 2019

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Page 7A January 9, 2019 ,R orter Continued from Front parked in an abandoned Mexican restaurant, and while still in the driver's seat, put a 12-gauge shot- gun barrel into his mouth or neck and finished offan awful, bloody da) Freeman said he knew Taylor, who had done good construction work for his family, and had just seen him at City Barber Shop in December. Taylor moved to Monroe County from the Henry County area many years ago backed by Stringer Lumber Co. in McDonough to build homes in the county, including the newer part of Forsyth's Betsy Lynn subdivision. More recently, Taylor had focused almost exclusively on repairs and renovations of existing homes, includ- ing a lot of work for local realtor Connie Ham, and her daughters Kerri Swear- ingen and Chrissy Dono- van. Taylor had had a lease- purchase on a home Ham owned at 47 Joe Chambers Road since 2007, the home he burned to the ground on Friday. Donovan choked back tears, telling the Reporter they were shocked by Fri- day's news and have been asking themselves if they could've done something to help Taylor and avoid a tragedy. "We've really struggled with it;' said Donovan. "It's horrible. Horrible." added her sister Kerri Swearingen. Swearingen said Taylor was a very hard worker of the old-school, rising early and doing exactly what he said he would do. He had three grown children from a previous marriage, all of whom live in the Atlanta area. His daughter, Melanie, also worked for Ham in the early 2000s before becom- ing a nurse. He also liked to keep horses, chickens and dogs on his proper . Swearingen said Tay- lor was also an involved step-dad; when his step- son Colton was in school struggling with a learning disability, it was Taylor who inquired about getting him some tutoring. But over the last 18 months, Taylor had suf- fered a detached retina in his left eye, undergo- ing several surgeries and wearing an eyepatch. Yet he continued to work, and of- ten helped people without compensation. Donovan recalled an unwed mother expecting her second child who badly needed repairs to her home in November. Taylor did them for free, said Donovan. "He was very kind," said Donovan. Donovan said Taylor ate breakfast every morning at the Ingles deli, where the workers loved him. But, she added, he was also a man's man, one who didn't share much about his feelings or his personal life. Friday's tragedy brings to mind other recent suicides in Forsyth by men near Taylor's age who may have feared they could no longer provide for their families. Whatever was going through Taylor's mind, Inv. Chris Landers said after talking to neighbors, they have reason to think Taylor may have begun his killing spree as early as 4 a.m. Monroe County firefight- ers got the call about the fire at 47 Chambers Road at 7:32 a.m. and immedi- ately were suspicious after finding gas cans near the front door. With gas fuelilag the blaze, the home was soon fully involved and it took a while for firefighters to find the bodies, which were unrecognizable and sent to the GBI crime lab, i long with Mike Taylor's body. The GBI on Tuesday confirmed the identity of Alicia Taylor's body, but needed further testing to confirm King's body. Still, Freeman said they're 99.9 percent sure it's his, and of what happened. What neither the GBI nor anyone else seems to be able to say for certain is why. Donovan said a memorial service for Mike Taylor will be held Saturday in Hamp- ton. Arrangements for Alicia Taylor and Colton King were not known at press time. ABOVE: Butts County depu- ties examine the scene in Flovilla around the white truck of builder Mike Taylor, where he is thought to have ended his life on Friday. LEFT: Firefight- ers found two bodies in the home on Friday. (Photos/Richard Dumas and MCES) NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FORSYTH WITH REGARD TO A PETITION OF NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION REQUESTING AN ORDER TO ELIMINATE HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING NUMBER DOT #718 329Y LOCATED IN THE CITY OF FORSYTH PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. 32-6-193.1. The Mayor and Council of the City of Forsyth, as the local governing authority with regard to a petition by Norfolk Southern Corporation requesting an order to eliminate Highway-Rail Grade Crossing No. DOT#178 329Y, will pursuant to O.C.G.A. 32-6-193.1(b)(3) conduct a public hearing on the matter prior to deciding whether to grant or deny the petition. The public hearing will be held on January 22, 2019, at 5:30 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached, at Alderman Hall at 5 West Adams Street in the City of Forsyth, Georgia. A copy of the petition and attachments as submitted to the City of Forsyth dated November 9, 2018, is avail- able for inspection at the office of the City Clerk of the City of Forsyth during regular business hours. Mayor and Council of the City of Forsyth Register for Grand Prizel FREE clothes every month for a ),earl Register this Thursday, Friday & Saturday. Thursday, January lOth thru Saturday, January 12th