Family, community call on Sacramento police to uncover what led to 19-year-old’s violent death

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It has been four months since 19-year-old Taylor Blackwell was found dead inside a hotel room at the WoodSpring Suites on La Mancha Way in South Sacramento.

“All I want is the truth. All I want is to know is what happened to my baby girl,” said Blackwell’s mother, Chiffon Buckner.

Buckner said Wednesday she still had no answers from police as to what happened in the early morning hours of February 28.

“I want the same justice that anybody who’s in my position would want,” she told FOX40. “I’m not asking for anything more than what I’m supposed to have.”

She said investigators have failed at their job, contacting her only recently after not hearing from them for months on end.

FOX40 reached out to Sacramento police to find out where they are in their investigation. They would not answer how Blackwell was found or if anyone was with her. They would also not say if there was trauma to her body or if a struggle took place inside the room.  

Police do not know the cause of death or if there was anything in Blackwell’s system when she died.

In a prepared statement, police said, “This is still an open and active death investigation. The Sacramento Police Department is still working with the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office on this case.”

The coroner’s office told FOX40 they had no information to share and to check back next week.

“There’s a lot of hurt in the Black community, hurt nationally and locally around police brutality,” said Pastor Les Simmons with the South Sacramento Christian Center. “And now we’re here with Taylor Blackwell four months after her murder with no answers.”

“It speaks volumes to this idea of equality here in Sacramento continuingly to say why we need to defund police is because of incidents like this,” said activist Berry Accius, who is the founder of Voice of the Youth.

Family and friends gathered back at the hotel Wednesday to remember Blackwell and share their frustrations.

Buckner said she was shocked to see her daughter’s wounds, which included a bruised face and body, as well as a gash on her nose bridge between her eyes. She also had busted lips.

“My heart told me that this is not an accident,” Buckner explained. “Her arms were so bruised that we had to cover them.”

She said she doesn’t want street justice and called it an easy way out.

“If it’s the last act that I commit on this earth, I’m gonna find out what happened to my daughter,” she said.

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