A former sheriff’s office employee from Florida is facing first-degree murder charges in the mysterious slaying of a private investigator whose body was found in the woods, but authorities have thus far remained tight-lipped about the details surrounding the case.
Ashley McArthur, who worked as a crime scene technician for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for several months in 2006, was arrested on one count of first-degree homicide for the murder of Taylor Wright, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Wright, who previously worked as a police officer, had been missing since September 7. Pensacola Police Department spokesman Mike Wood confirmed that McArthur and Wright knew each other but declined to offer further details, citing the ongoing investigation and the fact that the case had moved jurisdictions.
Wood did note that police initially believed Wright to have gone missing of her own accord due to multiple deliberately false statements, but further prying revealed that not to be the case. The investigation only ended after detectives tracked Wright’s body down in a wooded area, with the cause of death still not released.
McArthur is due back in court on November 19 and is being held on a $1 million bond.
Wright worked at the Jacksonville Police Department from January 2008 through August 2009, and then again from 2012 to December 2013, WEAR reported. Her colleagues have remembered her as a diligent officer and a cherished member of the community.
“Officer Taylor Wright was a brave and spirited young officer, who we were happy to rehire to service when she returned to the area in 2012,” JPD Deputy Chief Timothy A. Malfitano said. “She was a loved and valued member of our law enforcement family. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Taylor’s family and friends.”