Erie, Pa (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– The family of Nashville woman Michelle Tayse are begging for answers after the 48-year-old mother of seven was found along Interstate 90, over 600 miles from home.
We spoke to three of her children Friday night who are hoping someone here can help find their mother’s killer.
It had been two weeks since the daughters of Michelle Tayse had seen or heard from their mother. And then, the phone rang. The news, unimaginable.
Tayse’s children learned their mother’s body had been found in Erie, 15 hours away from her home of Nashville, Tennessee.
“We can’t eat, we can’t sleep, we’re just trying to get to the bottom of what happened,” said Kelsie Tayse, daughter of Michelle Tayse.
Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook said Tayse was stabbed several times before she was lit on fire and dropped off on the side of Interstate 90. Her daughters said the damage done to her made their mother unrecognizable.
“Unfortunately, they poured accelerant on her body and it caused her body to burn very bad. So, we actually didn’t even get the chance to see our mother after it happened because we had to cremate her in Pennsylvania,” Kelsie said.
Kelsie said police told her they haven’t had much luck with credible leads. However, the family said they have learned someone driving an 18-wheeler semi truck may have picked her up.
They think she was killed in Nashville and driven to Erie to be disposed of, the killer hoping to avoid being caught.
“Out of my mother’s whole 48 years of living, she has never went this far. She has never left the state, and she has no ties to Pennsylvania. So, the only way that she would have went is if she was taken against her will,” Kelsie explained.
Michelle Tayse was a mother of seven and a grandmother of four. Her passion for her family is something her kids said they’ll never forget.
“She would do anything for her kids, anything. Even if she couldn’t, she’d do anything,” said Shawanna Cosby, daughter of Michelle Tayse.
“She’d give a stranger the shirt off her back if it was the last one she had. That’s the type of person our mom was,” Kelsie added.
Friday night, the Tayse family along with friends who knew Michelle held a candlelight vigil in Nashville honoring her memory.
Kelsie said her mother’s ashes will be spread on top of their grandfather’s grave.
“If you’ve seen something, say something. Please. If you’ve seen something, say something, because she’s left seven kids behind and we’re just confused, distraught. We just don’t know what to do and we just want to know what happened to our mom,” Kelsie went on to say.
Anyone with information or potential leads in the case, such as dashcam footage, are asked to call Pennsylvania State Police at 814-898-1641. You can also help the family by donating to help with funeral costs here.