Staten Island, NY

A Hurricane Uncovered The Remains Of A Staten Island Man, His Murder Is Still Unsolved

Jeffery Mac

In the year 2000, a Staten Island family was faced with a horrible tragedy. The body of a young man was found stuffed in a crawlspace. He had been stabbed to death before having his body placed there. His body had been left undiscovered in that crawlspace for more than 20 years. His girlfriend at the time is still hoping for some answers. 

In an attempt to reinvigorate the case, the NYPD released a photo of the victim. He was identified as 19-year-old John “Spone” Taylor from Staten Island. The police department is asking for the public’s help with obtaining any information that would lead to answers about Taylor’s murder. After being stabbed in the chest more than two decades ago, Taylor’s body was stuffed in that crawlspace. His body may have never been found had it not been for flooding due to a hurricane.

Eurydice Williams was Taylor’s girlfriend at the time. She is now 41 years old and working as a nurse in New Jersey. The two became a couple when Williams was a senior at a Staten Island high school. Taylor was a year older than her and had already graduated. 

“I loved him with all my heart,” Williams said. “I haven’t met anyone who compared to him 20 years later. He was a special person — and I am not just saying that.”

The last time that Williams saw Taylor was on January 4, 2000. They were watching tv together at a friend’s apartment. Taylor’s relationship with his parents was in a rough patch during this time. He stayed at that friend’s apartment for a few days in order to get some independence from his family home in Stapleton. Williams attempted to call her boyfriend that night and the friend’s apartment. After not getting an answer, she tried again the next day. There was still no answer. 

That’s when she decided to visit the apartment again. 

“The house was a mess,” she said. It was more than a mess. There was blood everywhere.”

“I called the police, I made the report,” Williams added. “I told the police everything I knew.”

According to Williams, the police went to the apartment and left when they were told by the tenant that nothing was wrong. More than 11 years later, Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast hard. In August 2011, the basement of that same apartment was flooded.

Giuseppe Lafata was the owner of the building at that time. After the hurricane had subsided, he was pumping water from the basement. On September 1, 2011, he saw a skull and leg bones. 

“He called me and said, ‘Paul, Paul I found something down there. Like a body or something,’” Fichera recalled. “So that’s what opened up the can of worms there.”

Lafata then called the police. Responding detectives found Taylor’d ID along with his skeletal remains in the crawlspace. The medical examiner was able to rule his death homicide after finding stab wounds to the chest. The apartment — at the time — was a well-known drug spot. That led the police to believe that Taylor may have been killed over a dealer’s stash (reporting alleged that the crawlspace was used to hide that stash). 

“Whatever happened to him, he didn’t deserve it,” Williams said. “It just wasn’t right.”

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Writer focusing on unsolved cases and missing persons of color.

Hicksville, NY
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