Shelbyville mother, grandmother ‘dealing with pain for 22 years’ as cold case stays open

Unsolved Tennessee

Antonio Taylor vanished from his grandmother’s house in Shelbyville September of 1999.  

“We, I can’t say suffer, but we’ve been dealing with pain for 22 years now,” his grandmother Lillie Buchanan said. “We would just like for a closure to know the whereabouts of Antonio.”  

His mom remembers going to pick him up for a job interview that fall afternoon. She found his clothes laid out along with his pager, but no sign of Taylor.  

“It started worrying me later on about three or four o’clock,” his mother, Rochelle Adams said. “Especially around the time for his boys to get out of daycare, which I picked them up. And it just started worrying me then because [there was] no contact from him, no hearing nothing from him, then [I started] to worry.” 

On the day he went missing, Taylor’s grandmother said he was home before she left for work around 11 that morning. Around noon, her son went home for lunch and reported seeing Taylor leave after getting a phone call. Taylor has never been seen since.  

“It was a friend, I was told, that had picked him up that day. He left with a friend – supposed to have been a friend anyway – and hadn’t been seen since then,” Buchanan said.  

Cold Case Antonio Taylor
Shelbyville 1999 cold case murder victim, Antonio Taylor. (WKRN file photo)

His family said police waited 72 hours to begin searching for Taylor, so they started their own search the day he went missing. They drove around the area and asked his friends if they had seen any sign of Taylor.

Now, more than two decades later, his mom and grandmother are still empty-handed.  

“It’s hard, but God gives us the strength to keep on going,” Adams continued, “I think that there’s people in my space that know what goes on but they won’t own [up] to it. They won’t say nothing to come forward with it.”

“But, I think of it like this, put yourself in our shoes, you know,” Adams said. “God gives us strength and it’s going to come out one day. It’s going to come to light.” 

His mother recalled his contagious smile and ability to make people laugh.  

“Antonio was a kind, sweet, loving, laughable person. If you were down and out, he’d come through, you’re going to laugh, he’s going to pick you up one way or another. He’s going to say something crazy to you and make you forget about what you were really down about,” Adams said. “He was very loving, he was kind, he tried to help a lot of people, he had helped a lot of people.”  

UNSOLVED TENNESSEE: Find more of the state’s cold cases, missing persons, and other mysteries

Taylor left behind two sons, who were 1 and 2-years-old at the time of his disappearance.  

“When I pray, I ask God whenever you do reveal, please let us still be living. And so, I can’t say when or anything like that, but I just have a feeling that it is going to be revealed,” Buchanan said. “I may not be around, but I hope so.” 

Taylor would now be 43-years-old. He was 5’ 10” and had a four-inch scar on his left arm. 

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Shelbyville Police at (931) 684-5811.   

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss