Missing NKY woman was murdered, father says

Posted at 10:56 PM, Feb 28, 2016

FOSTER, Ky. – Tara Turner's father says his daughter was  murdered and he knows who did it.

"Absolutely! There's no doubt in my mind. We know who did it.  We just can't prove it," Dan Turner said after his missing daughter's body was recovered from Snag Creek in Bracken County Sunday night.

"The person that she was with had given three different stories where he dropped her off within two or three days of her disappearance. We know that he's got something to do with it. It's just a matter of proving it."



Authorities say they have identified two persons of interest in the case, but no other information has been released. They haven't said how she died. The 31-year-old mother of three from Falmouth went missing on Jan. 31.

Dan Turner said he went to the scene Sunday night and ended up helping police identify his daughter.

"I made some phone calls and nobody would give us any information so I went to the crime scene. I met with Craig Peoples (Pendleton County sheriff) and he asked me about some tattoos that Tara had and I told him what they looked like, and we determined at that time that it was Tara's body," he  said.

Dan Turner said he went home and told his 8-year-old granddaughter that her mother was dead.

 "The youngest child was asking me every morning when I'd go to work, 'Papa, are you going to bring my mommy home today,' and that hurt me worse than anything," Dan Turner said.  "But I broke the news to her this morning and I just got kind of a blank look on her face. She knew her mommy wasn't coming home, but she was hoping for the best."

Kentucky State Police confirmed that Turner's body was pulled from the creek near a bridge in the Foster area after fishermen spotted it about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

By the day after Turner disappeared, her family had the feeling she was dead, Dan Turner said.

"We knew. We was hoping differently, but we knew that if Tara could call, Tara would call. If Tara could show up, Tara would show up. We knew that something bad happened to her," Dan Turner said.

"Tara was a good person. She had a rocky life. She's been with a few abusive people and ..."

Officials said they interviewed Turner's last known acquaintances and watched videos of places she may have last visited before she disappeared. There were reports she was seen at the California Marketplace on the AA Highway the day she vanished, but employee Alice Harrison, who knew Turner, said she didn't think so.

 "They checked all the cameras on the inside and the outside and they did not see her anywhere or dropped off here," Harrison said.  "They did not see the truck -- the black truck that she's supposed to be in."

Turner was also reported to have been at house on the New Hope Road Spur that day.

Harrison said Turner was very outgoing and friendly.

"She's always been a nice person to me and everybody that I know that knows her thought she was such a nice person to everybody," Harrison said.

Since Turner disappeared, a Facebook group dedicated to finding her gained more than 1,100 members. Her family organized multiple searches over the past month. They believed Turner was headed to Campbell County in the California or Wilder areas.

"We had people from as far away as Columbus, Ohio, coming in for the search. We had people from Mississippi and Colorado willing to bring cadaver dogs in, but they wanted a starting point and we couldn't come up with that starting point because we didn't know exactly where she was," Dan Turner said.

"We talked to recovery companies in the Mississippi area and they said if she was in the Ohio River, chances are we would never find her. But, we're glad to say that we did find her and will give her a resting place.

"Now, we finally put this to rest and give it a little closure."

Turner had also had a 10-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.  

"We put a $10,000 reward out there for the return of her or the conviction and nobody come forward with anything, but we appreciate any information that anybody has to forward it on to the Kentucky State Police or the Pendleton County Sheriff Office," Dan Turner said.

You can donate to the Tara Turner Memorial Fund at any Fifth Third Bank.