Tamekia Taylor, known as Mika to friends and family, had accomplished more in her 27 years than many people accomplish in a lifetime. A college graduate, she’d been highly sought after by banks throughout the Southeast. She rose through the ranks of the industry and landed a plum job as a mortgage banker.
“Mika was a very ambitious young lady,” remembers Matt Taylor, Mika’s father. “She was always going to the top of everything.
She worked with high profile clients, including millionaires and big name athletes. She started a group at her church to help people learn how to realize their dream of home ownership.
“When Mika talked you listened,” said Gwendolyn Taylor, Mika’s mother. “That’s just basically who she was. A huge sense of humor like her dad.”
One of her most exciting accomplishments was buying her own home. It was in that home where Mika was killed, police believe, by someone she knew.
“Looked like it was probably an act of passion,” said Lt. Rod Bryant with the DeKalb County Police. “I was a rookie detective then. That was pretty much one of my first gruesome scenes.”
PHOTOS: Parents on quest to find daughter's killer
It was December 4, 2002 when someone killed Mika in her Lithonia home. She was supposed to attend a Christmas party that night at a professional athlete’s home. But she never showed up. That was her father’s first sign that something was wrong.
“Mika was always on time,” remembers Matt. “When she said she’d be somewhere, she would.”
A couple of days later, Mika’s sister went by her house after not hearing from her. She let herself in with a key and found Mika upstairs. She’d been stabbed about twenty times.
“There’s nothing imaginable that could make a person so upset and so angry that they would do what they did,” said Matt Taylor. “It’s unthinkable.”
Police say there was no sign of forced entry. Nothing was stolen. Nothing to indicate this was a burglary. They believe she was killed by someone she knew. Her parents agree.
“She knew them,” said Matt. “The only way that child would let anybody in that house is if she knew them.”
Her parents said they gave a list of people to police who may know information about Mika’s life and her business associates.
“The police did a thorough job of investigating all the names that were given us that we didn’t know about,” said Matt.
Though DeKalb County Police questioned a lot of people, no one rose to the top. Her parents keep circling back around to Mika’s business connections.
“She was very much involved with some high profile people,” said Gwendolyn.
For Lt. Bryant, who worked this case as a rookie detective and is investigating it again as a cold case, solving Mika’s murder is person.
“It’s very important,” said Lt. Bryant. “Seeing something like this. A female. The way she was murdered.”
Police believe the killer told someone what he did. They just need that person to come forward.
After 16 years, Mika’s parents have not given up hope that someone will tell police what they know nad help bring them closure.
“As much as you try to bury it or not think about it, it still hurts,” said Gwendolyn. “It still hurts and it will hurt for a long time until that person’s found.”
“It’ll never stop hurting because my child is gone and the person that done it is still walking around out here,“ said Matt.
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 404-577-TIPS.
For more cold cases, visit http://www.11alive.com/coldcases.