Taylor Manley, 15, of Evart, MI last spoke with her father before he left for work on Tues. night Oct. 26; she was to testify in court the next morning.
She was supposed to up and ready when he arrived home Wed. morning from the night shift. She was the main witness against Raymond Bush, 38, who faces 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct for a relationship with her.
When Robert Manley arrived home around 7:30 am, his daughter was gone. He knew something was wrong and contacted the authorities immediately, prompting an Amber Alert.
Taylor and Raymond were found dead in the back of Bush’s van parked in a cemetery in Newport, MI approximately 200 miles from her home. She had been shot twice once in the head and the chest. Bush was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Taylor’s father said she was afraid of him, she told her father he had threatened that he would “do something” if she testified.
According to Bush’s family he was growing desperate, unemployed, broke, being evicted from his apartment and facing a sexual assault charge, he was spooked. He had been involved with Taylor intimately, even tattooing her name on his neck. When her mother learned of the relationship she notified the authorities. Bush had told Taylor, he’d rather run than face the charges.
According to Taylor’s family police told the family there were signs the door to Taylor’s father’s mobile home had been pried open, indicating she was abducted and that several hours had lapsed between her death and Bush’s suicide.
In the days prior to the court date and murder, Bush had sent Taylor a barrage of text messages, nothing threatening, mostly telling her he loved her and asking for a return text or call.
Taylor had moved with her father only 2 weeks prior to the murder because of the case, he was trying to take her away, trying to hide her and let her be a kid again. Her father doesn’t believe she left willing, she didn’t seem to have a problem testifying against him.
Bush was a family friend of Taylor and her mother and at some point the relationship turned sexual. Bush was a father himself of 2 teens a boy and girl and was facing 15 years in prison if convicted.
This is a sad story from start to finish… her you have a man according to his family was a lost soul looking for love that he thought he found in a child. A young girl lost her life at the hands of a man she probably believed she loved too. But if he had loved her that much he’d have waited to involve himself with her until she was of legal age to consent.
I have never been able to understand how an adult can share any sort of intimate relationship with a child. We as adults have nothing in common with a teenager, but we will never understand the dynamics here, there is no one left to tell us the story.
My heart goes out to Taylor’s family and Bush’s children.