BY SARAH STEPHENS
ELMORE AUTAUGA NEWS
The Photo of Daniel Taylor above was taken from a website for Coosada Elementary School, and is not his mugshot from his arrest. We have now added the official mugshots from the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office.
EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY, AND WE WILL UPDATE AS POSSIBLE.
A husband and wife from Elmore County have been indicted on one count each by an Elmore County Grand Jury for Aggravated Child abuse of their biological child. For years, the friends and coworkers of the family were told the daughter was suffering from cancer and/or terminal diseases. However, authorities say that there is no evidence at this point to show the child ever had cancer or any other other disease.
Jessica Taylor, 37, and Daniel Taylor, 38, were indicted Friday, taken into custody Wednesday night, and have since bonded out on those charges. They were booked into the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office. Bond amounts for each were set at $30,000. The couple lives in Millbrook.
The indictment comes from allegations that the couple led people to believe their child had cancer and/or other terminal illnesses. During that time, fundraisers were established for the couple and their child in and around Elmore County.
Daniel Taylor has been put on administrative leave from Coosada Elementary where he was serving as assistant principal. His wife, Jessica, was not currently employed by the Elmore County School system, but at one time was a pre-school teacher with the Child Development Center of Millbrook.
“We believe this abuse occurred over a period of years,” Chief Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson told the EAN. “From what we can gather, there are no medical records available that show the child ever had cancer. We are just glad that as of now the child is safe. Our hope is we can prevent this from ever happening again.”
A statement from the Elmore County School System reads:
“The Elmore County Sherriff’s office reported the arrest of a Coosada Elementary School administrator on January 13, 2021. The incident that led to the arrest is unrelated to the school. As of January 14, 2021 the employee was placed on administrative leave. The District is not at liberty to comment further. Thank you.”
Daniel Taylor has not been on the campus of Coosada Elementary School since Jan. 5, and had been working from home.
It is important to note that these charges do not involve other school children in the Elmore County Public School system, and relate only to the couple’s biological child. It is not believed any other children were involved at this time.
Over the past years, many in the Millbrook and Elmore County community donated money to the family, thinking they were helping for medical and other expenses related to the child’s alleged cancer diagnosis.
We were contacted by one of those people, who actually supported the couple throughout those fundraisers, and told us that some teachers had even donated their vacation time so Jessica Taylor could stay home with her “sick” child.
The couple is set to be arraigned on Feb. 2 in an Elmore County Courtroom. We will follow this story and update as possible.
According to Mandy Johnson, an assistant District Attorney for Elmore County, the original investigation began some time back when an area medical professional voiced their concerns to law enforcement authorities concerning the safety and well-being of the child.
The charge of Aggravated Child Abuse is a Felony, and if found guilty they could both face prison time.