Sabine Co. deputies looking for toddler murder suspect

Dequahna Taylor
Dequahna Taylor
Mozell Dupree, suspect's grandmother.
Mozell Dupree, suspect's grandmother.

HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email

HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - A Sabine County Grand Jury has issued an indictment for a Hemphill woman and charged her in the May death of a 22-month-old girl.

The Sabine County Sheriff's Office has issued a warrant for Dequahna Taylor, 34. Deputy George Griffith, who is investigating the death, said he has not seen or spoken to Taylor since two days after the death.

Taylor is the wife of the father of Detyreunna Price.

According to a previous report, Taylor rushed Price to a Sabine County hospital May 12. She died on May 15 at a Houston hospital. Price was suffering from bite marks, belt marks from a whipping, burn marks, apparently from an iron and severe head trauma.

Griffith called it one of the most horrific child abuse cases he had ever seen.

Taylor's grandmother is in disbelief.

"I can't believe that," Mozell Dupree said. "I can't believe that. Capital murder? She didn't whip her own."

Sheriff Tom Maddux says they have evidence that links Taylor to the death of her husband's daughter.

"She was the last person there that had the care in custody there of the child in question and also was the one that brought the child into the hospital," Maddux said.

While authorities search for the wanted woman, dupree said us she hasn't seen her in days.

"I would not hide her out," Dupree said. I'm a church-going person."

Dupree says she helped raised Taylor and gives her granddaughter the benefit of the doubt.

"It's a freak accident," Dupree said.

But authorities say the toddler's injuries are consistent with child abuse. Taylor's accused of biting the toddler, whipping her with a belt and burning her with what appears to be a clothes iron. Maddux says Taylor has never given them a statement.

"We have talked to her one or two times on the telephone, but not in a formal interview," Maddux said. "She refused to talk to us, or didn't want to talk to us."

Taylor's grandmother is asking her to stop running from the law.

"Quahna, I want you to turn yourself in baby wherever you are, turn yourself in sweetheart," Dupree said. "This is your Granny. Turn yourself in."

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