Gary homicide victim’s mother wonders who would kill him
by Lori Caldwell email@example.com|648-3258 January 13, 2013 6:48PM
Patricia Gee holds a photograph of one of her sons, Richard G. Taylor, at her Gary, Ind. home Wednesday January 9, 2013. Richard, a mentally challenged 25-year-old, was beaten and shot to death when he walked to a gas station near his Aetna neighborhood home in December. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 15, 2013 6:06AM
GARY — The last thing Patricia Gee told her son was, “Don’t go to the gas station.”
Gee was leaving her Aetna home to pick up her daughter from work. Her mentally handicapped son, Richard Taylor, stepped into the back yard. That was the last time she saw him alive.
“He just walked right in front of his death,” his mother said.
Gee, 25, was beaten and shot to death on a path between his house and the gas station on U.S. 20 where he sometimes begged for money.
“I would see him out there when I worked patrol,” Detective Cpl. James Nielsen. “He wasn’t any trouble. He would beg, but he would leave when we told him to.”
On Dec. 17, after Gee left home, Taylor left his backyard. A short time later, about 10 p.m., witnesses saw him surrounded by two, possibly three suspects.
“He was simple. He would just smile and say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ but he didn’t really conversate with people,” his mother recalled.
Nielsen said there is no indication Taylor was the target of a robbery. His mother said he didn’t have any money.
Gee is frustrated with the mental health system for lack of support as she tried to keep her son on track with his medications and therapy.
“I was running around trying to keep up with him,” said the substitute teacher.
Taylor had been ejected from a group home in 2007 for violating a rule. Since then Gee tried to get her son help.
She took him to an area mental health clinic where she was told that her son “looked normal.”
“His last resort was a mentor. He had just started working with him,” Gee recalled.
Her son didn’t bother people, and didn’t recognize when someone took advantage of him, Gee said.
“Everyone knows Richard. You wouldn’t think anyone would murder him,” she said.
Gee is struggling to accept her son’s death. “I still look downstairs for him every day,” she said. “I go to the graveyard once a week. I find peace there. It’s hard.”
When Gee returned from Portage with her daughter that night, she realized her son wasn’t home.
She went to the scene and saw her son, lying in a fetal position on the ground.
“Lord, all I can do is reach out for understanding,” Gee said.
Nielsen said his investigation has slowed because witnesses can’t or won’t identify the men who were at the scene.
“I hope someone calls on this,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen can be reached at (219) 881-4754.