It's been nearly two years since Shamari Taylor, son of state Rep. John Myers, was reportedly kidnapped in Overbrook Park - and he has not been seen since by his family or authorities.
Myers, D-Northwest Philadelphia, hopes this week's retrial of a man accused of kidnapping Taylor will reveal what happened to his son.
Where is Taylor? Or, more likely, where is his body?
"It's been a rollercoaster ride for all of his family," Myers said yesterday by phone from Harrisburg. "Not having any closure. It's an open wound. I'd just like for them [his kidnappers] to tell us where he's at so we can do whatever we need to do."
Myers doesn't believe his son is still alive.
"I believe they killed him," he said.
To date, Kenneth Tuck, now 36, of Jefferson Street near 62nd, Overbrook, has been the only person charged with kidnapping, robbery, impersonating a police officer and weapons offenses.
Since there has not been conclusive evidence that Taylor was killed, Tuck has not been charged with murder.
Authorities believe the kidnapping was drug-related.
Jury selection in Tuck's retrial before Common Pleas Judge Lisa Rau began yesterday and will continue today. Opening statements are expected tomorrow.
"I'm trying to get emotionally prepared," Myers said. "Trials have a way of disclosing information that can shock you. So, I'm just, me and the rest of Shamari's family are going to be there. I hope justice is done."
Myers said that he was "pleased the Police Department has not given up on this case, even though it's been two years. I believe they've uncovered additional information. I think it's going to be a different case."
After a trial last year before Common Pleas Judge John Poserina, a jury deadlocked, splitting 8-4 in favor of "not guilty."
Tuck has remained in custody.
At the trial and at a 2006 preliminary hearing, the prosecution's key witness, Caren Murphy, in her early 20s, testified that she and Taylor, then 26, were abducted from her car on Woodbine Avenue near Pennington Road about 10:45 p.m. Aug. 26, 2006, by several armed men, a few of whom flashed police badges.
She said that she recognized Tuck, with whom she had had a romantic relationship when she was 15, as the man who grabbed Taylor.
Later, at what she believed to be a warehouse, Murphy said that Taylor was taken to a separate area. She heard him plead for his life.
Tuck testified at the trial that he was playing cards on his mother's front porch at the time. *