HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) – It took tips and a sting operation to capture a Hemphill woman charged in the May death of a 22-month-old girl.
Dequahna Taylor, 34, was nowhere to be found, when Sabine County authorities issued her arrest warrant earlier this month.
Deputies say it was a peaceful car ride from Dallas to Hemphill, with Taylor in the back seat. Quiet, that is until, she saw the KTRE camera.
"I'm innocent and I would never ever hurt a kid. I don't care what they say, I did not do it, did you get that on camera?" said Taylor.
"She was very cooperative the whole way until right here at the door," said Deputy George Griffith with the Sabine County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say they've been looking for Taylor since early June and after receiving an anonymous tip and working closely with Dallas authorities, they were able to locate her in the Dallas area, and transport her back to Sabine County Thursday afternoon.
Exactly where she was hiding out was not released, but deputies are relieved to have her behind bars.
"It's been a major help by Dallas Pd to get her arrested so we can get her back in jail and keep her off the streets and from possibly harming other children," said Griffith.
Taylor is charged with capital murder, following the death of 22-month old 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 suffered bite marks, belt marks, burn marks, and severe head trauma.
While Taylor claims she's innocent, Hemphill residents say they don't buy her story.
"I don't see how that could be an accident at all," said Jeanette Golden.
"It just made me cry because it's just like the condition of people's hearts to let themselves go that far and to hurt a child in that way," said Wendy Davis.
She didn't offer any explanation of her innocence, as officers dragged her into the jail. That opportunity may come in a courtroom, if, and when the murder case goes to trial.
Taylor is being held in the Sabine County Jail on a one-million dollar bond.