BETHANY, Okla. (KFOR) – A Bethany family believes a body discovered in a shallow grave in the backyard of the family home on Monday belongs to a male relative.
“All we can think about is how painful that must have been and we don’t know how he, how it happened or anything, it’s just, it’s awful,” Holly Taylor told KFOR
Taylor spoke with KFOR on Tuesday, one day after she received a horrible phone call from her brother-in-law.
“We didn’t expect that. It was a fear. It was a huge fear, but we just didn’t expect that,” Taylor said.
She’s talking about a shallow grave with human remains inside, discovered in the backyard of her late mother-in-law’s Bethany home on Monday.
Taylor believes the body belongs to her other brother-in-law, 42-year-old Clifton Taylor.
“We had been trying to call the Oklahoma City police for two weeks, trying to say, ‘Okay, we know now there’s something wrong. Clif would not be gone this long. He missed my mother-in-laws funeral,'” Taylor said.
Clifton, who lives in Oklahoma City, vanished six weeks ago, according to Taylor.
“It’s a nightmare. We feel like the system let us down,” she said.
Officials with the Oklahoma City Police Department told KFOR they have no missing person report under Clifton’s name.
KFOR did not receive any answers about why Taylor’s calls to OKCPD were not returned.
Bethany Police Department can’t say much right now about the body that was discovered in the grave, but they can confirm it belongs to a man and has been there for at least six weeks.
“There is some information on the possibility of who it could be. So, that’s just going to narrow the field down for them to get to an identification a lot quicker,” Lt. Angelo Orefice said.
Right now, police are calling it a suspicious death, but not ruling out homicide.
Taylor told News 4 she’s convinced the body belongs to Clifton, and she believes he was murdered by another family member who she said struggles with mental health issues.
KFOR is not naming him at this time while police continue their investigation.
“We have called the police multiple times, because of ***. I have pictures my husband just sent me of a time where Clif was beat up by *** a matter of months ago and the police didn’t come out,” Taylor said.
News 4 asked police about that on Tuesday. They confirmed anywhere from 17-21 calls to the home since January.
“We responded to every call we got out there,” Orefice said.
So for now, for the Taylors, it’s just a waiting game as they wait for the medical examiner to determine the cause of death and identify the body to see if their hunch is right.
“He’s obviously hurting. I know this is hard for him too, but now, we’ve lost a family member, and I feel like this could have been prevented,” Taylor said.