If you’ve seen Episode 3 of Netflix’s new true crime docuseries Missing: Dead or Alive?, you may be wondering what happened to David Taylor, the 59-year-old man who went missing after winning a $10,000 lottery ticket in South Carolina.
David told his wife he was on his way to cash in his lottery ticket. But he was never heard from again after leaving her a strange voicemail with nothing but a mysterious rustling sound.
His family reported him missing, and soon after that, David’s white pickup truck was found abandoned on the side of the highway.
A woman had called 911 to report a man crossing six lanes of traffic on foot, moving away from a white truck parked in the grass beside the highway, authorities later learned.
What made the whole scene even odder was that David Taylor’s keys and wallet were found inside his truck. Also, all of his power tools for the job he was working were still in the truck bed, indicating that it was unlikely that he had been robbed.
But David’s lottery ticket and cell phone were nowhere to be found, and investigators also learned that his lottery ticket was never cashed.
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Here’s What Tipped Officers Off About David Taylor’s Location
David Taylor’s case seemed like a total mystery. But investigators got an important break in the case when they realized that the area across from where David’s truck was parked is known for drug activity.
The missing man’s wife, Cathy Taylor, insisted that her husband had never used drugs. She explained that he was often trying to convince their children to go to rehab for their own drug addictions.
However, the couple’s daughter, Jessica, said in the series that she believed her father had been using drugs.
“My mom, she don’t have the slightest clue. But I knew what daddy did,” Jessica says in Episode 3.
“He had fell and hurt himself, hurt his knee real bad. And by that time, I was doing heroin and meth. I told my daddy, I said, ‘I don’t have no pain pills,’ I said, ‘I know you’re going to say no, but I have heroin and meth.’ It was really just a joke,” she explained.
“He actually came to my room like ten minutes later and was like, ‘Give me some.’ You know what I’m saying? So I knew right then and there that maybe every once in a while, he was using.”
Was David Taylor Ever Found?
Law enforcement eventually found David Taylor”s body, Missing: Dead or Alive Episode 4 explains.
They found him already deceased, leaning up against a tree in a wooded area on the side of the highway opposite from where his truck had been found.
He was not wearing a shirt and did not have any visible signs of blunt-force trauma when the officers found him.
Meth was present in his body at the time of his death, according to the toxicology report. His cause of death was hypothermia.
“It says, given the investigative information, this is a methamphetamine intoxication hypothermia death,” Missing Persons Investigator Vicki Rains told David’s wife, Cathy Taylor, and his brother, Rob Taylor, in Episode 4. “So he had meth in his system.”
“See, that don’t even sound like him,” Cath Taylor said.
Investigator Rains explained what might have caused David Taylor to run into the woods that day.
“I called the coroner, and she said that the meth that was in his system could cause him to hallucinate and not know where he was at,” she explained.
“You can imagine somebody’s chasing you, which might be why he ran across the road. So essentially, because he had meth in his system and he was kind of delusional and he wasn’t able to get out of the woods, he died of hypothermia. We didn’t find the phone or the lottery ticket. But there’s no evidence that anyone was with David when he died.”
All four episodes of Missing: Dead or Alive are now streaming on Netflix.