NARRAGANSETT – On a warm spring day the daily hustle and bustle of the idyllic seaside town of Narragansett came to an abrupt halt as news broke that a 65-year-old woman was brutally murdered in her home by her own son.
What began as a larceny investigation Tuesday ended with a suicide attempt, murder investigation, and ended with the arrest of Robert M. Taylor.
Taylor, 45, allegedly brutally murdered and dismembered his mother, Allison M. Taylor, 65, on at some point between Saturday and Tuesday.
Narragansett Police arrived at 130 Caswell St., Apt. 17, at 11 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a larceny complaint involving the theft of money from St. Thomas More Church, just a tenth of a mile away from the Caswell Street apartment.
Police were attempting to locate Robert Taylor, who was allegedly caught on tape stealing money from the church, according to the affidavit of Narragansett Police Detective Ryan Prest.
Police learned that Taylor, who has an extensive criminal history with charges from multiple police departments in Narragansett, throughout Rhode Island and in other states, was homeless and had recently returned to Narragansett.
Narragansett Police Chief Dean Hoxsie said Taylor’s mother had lived in the Caswell Street apartment for “a long time, years and years” and that police have “dealt with her or the family at that residence for at least 10 years.”
On Tuesday, as police attempted to question Taylor about the church theft, he was “acting strange and as evasive with answering any questions,” according to Prest’s affidavit.
Officers asked about the whereabouts of Taylor’s mother, Allison, but Taylor then “suddenly produced a pocket knife and began violent slashing his wrists in an apparent suicide attempt,” according to the affidavit.
The defendant had to be subdued by officers and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he was held overnight Tuesday prior to his arraignment Wednesday morning in the 4th District Court, Wakefield.
Police continued to investigate the apartment and spoke with Mitzie Bonney, a CNA who was reportedly at the residence for an appointment with Allison Taylor on Tuesday morning.
Bonney told Detective Prest that when she arrived, Robert Taylor was leaving the apartment with two grocery bags, one white plastic bag and one brown paper bag, according to the affidavit.
Taylor then discarded those bags in the dumpster.
Bonney allegedly asked where Allison Taylor was and Robert Taylor said she wasn’t awake yet, and instructed Bonney not to enter the apartment. He then had Bonney go to Stop & Shop to get some bleach, paper towels and a new shower curtain liner, according to the affidavit.
When Bonney returned, Robert Taylor said Allison Taylor wasn’t home and was “in rehab” but wouldn’t give her a location or tell Bonney when Allison Taylor would return.
According to the affidavit, Bonney then entered the apartment and found several plastic grocery bags inside. Bonney said the defendant appeared intoxicated and wouldn’t answer any questions.
Bonney told police that Taylor didn’t want her to enter the bedroom or bathroom, but asked her to bleach the walls, floors, sinks and countertops.
When detectives searched the apartment to ensure that Allison Taylor was, in fact, not in the apartment, they observed a “suspicious reddish substance” in the shower.
Officers also observed a trail of suspected bodily fluids leading from Apt. 7, down the east stairway of the apartment complex, toward the dumpster, according to the affidavit.
Detectives then began searching the dumpster in the parking lot of the apartment complex and found a severed human head in a white plastic grocery bag.
“At this point the search was halted and search warrants were obtained for the dumpster and the apartment,” the affidavit read.
The search warrant was executed and the entire contents of the dumpster were searched, where officers located a severed head, believed to be Allison Taylor, and several other dismembered body parts.
Officers also located two knives in the dumpster.
“Based upon the above stated testimony your affiant prays that an arrest warrant be issued charging Robert M. Taylor with murder,” the affidavit concluded.
The news of Allison Taylor’s murder and her son’s arrest came as a shock to many in the community.
“He was a funny, good natured kid,” said Chris Dillon, who went to Narragansett High School with Taylor. Dillon and Taylor were friends as kids and graduated from Narragansett in 1986.
“I grew up with him, playing video games, hanging around at the Pier, doing things kids do,” said Dillon. “He was an overly sensitive type of kid who would go out of his way to clear things up if there was a conflict.”
Dillon said he was completely taken aback upon hearing that Taylor was being charged with murder.
“Shocking,” he said. “When I saw the mugshot it was like getting punched in the stomach. I said ‘oh no’ and then had to go outside and wrap my head around the whole thing.”
On Wednesday, Taylor, with a last known address of 485 Plainfield St., Apt. 204, Providence, appeared in the 4th District Court, Wakefield, in hospital scrubs with bandages around his wrists.
He was arraigned before Judge Walter Gorman and entered no plea to a charge of domestic murder.
Judge Gorman ordered Taylor held without bail until his felony court date on May 15.