HOMICIDE:Mother Arrested For Homicide and Arson After Son Dies in Alleged Insurance Fraud House Fire

News outlets are reporting that a mother was indicted Monday, on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree felony arson in the death of her son.

The motive at this time for setting the fire appears to be insurance fraud.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza said Taylor’s “depravity and greed know no bounds.”

“She will be held accountable for the murder of the younger child,” he added.

Something to note, this from a 2018 News4Jax article on the fire:

This isn't the family's first tragedy. Five years ago, the family's daughter drowned.

A Department of Children and Families report show 10-year-old Natalie Taylor, who had cerebral palsy, drowned after being left unattended in a bathtub. The report says the oldest sibling, who was 12 years old at the time, was babysitting her sister and David, who was 6, while their mother was at work and their father was on a hunting trip in Georgia.

The official statement form SJSO:

On October 23, 2018, patrol deputies in the southwest part of St. Johns County responded to a 911 call in reference to a fire at a residence. The call came from a distraught minor advising her younger sibling was still trapped inside the house. Upon arrival, deputies observed smoke coming from the front of the home and visible flames coming out of the rear of the home. Deputies attempted to make entry but could not due to the immense heat and smoke. St. Johns County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and located the burned remains of an eleven-year-old child inside the home.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit in conjunction with ATF and the State Fire Marshalls immediately began an investigation to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

After an extensive investigation which yielded positive results for gasoline in the majority of the samples collected from the day of the fire, it was determined this was a case of arson. Additionally, through further investigative efforts, it was determined that Michelle Taylor’s motive for committing arson was to collect insurance money.

After multiple years of thoroughly investigating this incident including a thorough review from the State

Attorney’s Office Homicide Investigation Unit, the case was presented to a St. Johns County Grand Jury who

returned a unanimous indictment for First Degree Felony Murder and Arson on August 9, 2021.

Michelle Taylor is currently residing in the St. Johns County Jail for both charges with no bond on the

Murder Charge and a $100,000.00 bond on the Arson charge.

“This case demonstrates that no matter how long it takes, the men and women of the St. Johns County

Sheriff’s Office won’t cease until justice is served,” Sheriff Hardwick said. “The actions of this individual cost

her child their life and she will be held accountable.”

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