MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Family and friends of a missing Memphis woman whose husband is charged with her murder gathered on her birthday in her memory.
With Taquila Hayes’ name on their shirts, her face on photos and her spirit in their hearts, loved ones struggled with their emotions and supported each other on what would have been her 42nd birthday.
“It meant a lot to us to have friends and family come out to be a part of this prayer vigil,” said Roberta Nutall, Taquila Hayes’ mother.
Taquila Hayes was last seen in May 2019. It's unclear what happened to her, and her body has not been found.
Her 43-year-old husband Carl Hayes is charged with murder in connection with her disappearance and awaits trial.
The people here want to make sure Taquila is never forgotten.
“I want to keep her name out there. I want to let the city of Memphis, everywhere across the world know.. Hey, Taquila was a living human being and she meant a lot to a lot of people,” said Nutall.
Through tears, those who knew and loved Taquila Hayes sang and spoke about their memories of her and used the birthday vigil to raise awareness of domestic violence.
“I love my sister, I miss her very dearly. Words cannot express what I'm feeling right now,” said Sabrina Henderson, Taquila Hayes’ sister.
“At the first sign of domestic violence, don't keep it hidden. Tell somebody. If you have to tell a coworker, tell your momma, your sister, your brother, a stranger. Tell someone, seek help,” said Nutall.
Carl Hayes is due back in court March 17.
Taquilla’s family has vowed to be at every court hearing.