Police want to question boyfriend of woman found in Chattahoochee River

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

Markeesha Taylor's body was found on the banks of the Chattahoochee River on Sunday, May 11.

ROSWELL, Ga - Wednesday, Roswell police said they want to question the boyfriend of a Decatur woman whose body was found on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

A visitor to Vickery Creek Park found Markeesha Taylor, 20, Sunday. An autopsy found no obvious cause of death, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said.  Investigators were awaiting results of a toxicology test to determine what was in Taylor’s system.

“It’s senseless,” said Taylor’s aunt, Malika Cheeks.

Cheeks said the Oklahoma native moved to Atlanta about a year ago and was pursuing a career as a professional hip-hop dancer.

“She was just an all-around bubbly 20-year-old,” said Cheeks.

Cheeks told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik Taylor’s boyfriend, Tariq Smith, called the family in the middle of the night Sunday to tell them her body had been found in the river, but she was suspicious of how he knew.

“The story had just broke on the news, so there’s no possible way he could have known there was a black female in the Chattahoochee River,” said Cheeks.  “That whole thing is just too funny to me because, as I talked to the police, he’s cleared out his things in the apartment and has disappeared.”

Petchenik discovered that Smith has been tweeting about the situation since last week.

On Saturday, he tweeted:  "’Bout to head to the police station and file a missing person. It’s been 26 hours now.’"

On Monday, he followed up with:  “"They found my girlfriend...in the Chattahoochee River’"

Then, later that day, he tweeted, “I’m no killer,” an apparent response to social media accusations he was involved in Taylor’s death.

Petchenik called Smith at a number he listed on his Twitter feed.  A man answered the phone, then abruptly hung up. Police said they have had no luck reaching Smith to interview him about what he knows.

Police confirmed to Petchenik Wednesday they have no record of anyone filing a missing person’s report for Taylor.

“If you don’t have anything to do with it, if you’re not involved, if you care so much about my niece, why aren’t you talking to authorities?” said Cheeks.  “Why aren’t you coming forward?  Why aren’t you telling your side of the story?”


Channel 2 Action News

Delivered To Your Inbox