Tribute To Slain Soldier At Spot Where He Was Fatally Wounded

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

OGDEN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Family members and friends of a slain Fort Riley soldier honored him Tuesday night as they continue to search for answers in his unsolved murder.

A ceremony was held at the Ogden Softball Park in remembrance of Sergeant Evans Taylor.

His loved ones dedicated a park bench to Sgt. Taylor at the spot where he was fatally wounded. An Eagle Scout constructed the bench as a tribute to Taylor.

Taylor, an Army X-ray technician and medic, was shot on the night of October 14, 2011 as he was driving just a few blocks away from where he lived off post in Ogden.

Injured behind the wheel, Taylor ended up crashing his car into a nearby home on Walnut Street. When officers arrived, they found neighbors trying to help Taylor and giving him CPR. He was rushed to Irwin Army Community Hospital on Fort Riley where he was pronounced dead. Taylor's family believes he was trying to get away from his killer after he'd been shot and ended up losing control of his car due to his gunshot wounds.

Several days after the murder, detectives released a profile of the man they believe shot Sergeant Taylor. He's described as a black man, 5'8"-6', 180 lbs., 25-35 years old with a completely bald head, mustache and beard. Witnesses in the area helped them come up with the description of the suspect. Taylor's family even had the sketch posted on a billboard along Fort Riley Boulevard in Manhattan in an effort to help move the case forward and offered a hefty reward but an arrest has not been made in the case.

Riley County police have remained tight-lipped on the deadly shooting. They have not released any details on the events leading up to the murder or shed any light on a possible motive.

When asked about the status of the investigation this week, RCPD spokesman Officer Matt Droge told WIBW: “As this is an open case currently under investigation, we do not have any further information to release regarding this case.”

Sgt. Taylor’s mother, Allison Keeley, traveled from his hometown of Wheatfield, Indiana for the dedication Tuesday, which would have been his 30th birthday.

His family believes that on the night of his death, Evans confronted someone who was breaking into homes in the area.

“This is a lovely place. It’s a softball field and a place where kids can come and play. It’s a nice way to remember my son’s life and what he did for the community as a hero in his attempt, what we believe, at stopping a home invasion. At the time, there were prevalent home invasions going on in Ogden and in the Manhattan area and we truly believe that that's probably what happened to Evans. I believe that his dogs woke him up barking as someone tried to break into his place and he responded as soldiers do. He just responded from his second tour and chased after them and met up with his demise by confronting them,” his mother said.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Riley County Police Department at 785-537-2112. You may also use one of the Crime Stopper avenues: call Crime Stoppers at 785-539-7777 or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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