Enquirer Herald

York probes murder-suicide

YORK -- Mary Ann Brown left her Rock Hill haven Saturday afternoon for her boyfriend's house in York. It was what the 59-year-old mother and grandmother did every weekend for eight years, her son said.

Then Sunday spilled into Monday. And Brown's family grew uneasy.

"She didn't come home Sunday, so we got kind of worried," said Brown's son, Billy Brown. "Then on Monday, my sister called her job and they hadn't heard from her."

Meanwhile, Bruce Taylor, 56, missed worked Sunday and Monday, something Taylor's boss said was not the norm.

"He was one of my hardest working people," said Abe Green of Spring Lake Country Club. "He never missed a day."

On Monday, police found Brown dead in Taylor's Shillinglaw Road house on top of a bed with a gunshot wound in the torso, said Lt. Tim Hager of York County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities found Taylor nearby lying face down on the floor beside the bed, also with a gunshot wound to the torso, Hager said. Next to the bed, a .22-caliber gun sat atop a nightstand, he said.

Police are calling their deaths a murder-suicide.

"It appears that he shot her first," Hager said. "Then he took his own life."

On Tuesday, two families grieved.

"She did anything she could for anyone," Billy Brown said of his mother, who was employed with York Technical College in Rock Hill.

Taylor's family could not be reached Tuesday night.

After a Saturday morning golf tournament, Taylor left work at 9:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Billy Brown last saw his mother Saturday afternoon when she left her home to go to York.

"She would go up there to get away," Billy Brown's said of his mother's treks to Taylor's house. "There was no indication that anything was wrong."

Until she didn't come back Sunday or Monday, he said.

That's when Billy Brown's sister called York Tech in search of their mother. But she wasn't there.

Taylor was supposed to be at work Sunday before daybreak, but he didn't show.

Then Monday came without Taylor on the job, Green said.

Green and a co-worker drove out to Taylor's house to make sure everything was OK.

Taylor had recently gone to the doctor and found out he had some problems with his prostate, Green said.

"We felt it odd that all of his vehicles were in the yard, but nobody would come to the door," he said.

So Green and his co-worker called the police.

Police forced their way into the locked house, where the couple was found in the same bedroom, Hager said.

"Never in a million years would I take this fellow and put him in this scenario," Green said of Taylor. "He's not this type of guy."

Billy Brown said there were two suicide notes found in the home. "He had prostate cancer, and he said he couldn't live without her," he said.

Hager declined to say who wrote the notes.

Now, one family is planning a funeral for a father and grandfather while another tries to figure out how to say goodbye to a mother and grandmother.