Reports of remains found on Mud Island creates anxiety for families with missing loved ones

A mother's anguish over missing daughter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A shocking discovery on Mud Island over the weekend is bringing up painful memories for one Mid-South family.

But there is also hope it could bring closure to someone somewhere needing answers.

Taquila Hayes’ mother contacted WMC when she heard skeletal remains were found on the southern end of Mud Island. Roberta Nutall feared it may be her daughter.

Investigation launched after skeletal remains found on Mud Island

The anxiety of not knowing is always with her.

“It’s skeletal remains. That’s what really made me think,” said Nutall. “What really made me think cause from 20 months ago. She would just be skeletal remains.”

That is the nightmare of Nutall’s life.

Her 41-year-old daughter, Taquila, disappeared in May 2019. Her husband Carl Hays was charged with second-degree murder after investigators searched the couple’s Cordova house taking away evidence as well as noting fresh paint was on the walls and new carpeting installed.

Taquila had not been seen since she did not show up for her job in May 2019 at Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital where she was a nurse practitioner.

Husband indicted in connection to missing Cordova mother Taquila Hayes

Her body has never been found.

“I’m just waiting to find out,” said Nutall. “I’m nervous. It’s a horrifying situation to begin this state I’m in.”

Each time word of remains found hits the news, it creates extreme anxiety for her.

She wants to stay strong for her family -- wants to stay strong for Taquila’s 13-year-old son she has custody of.

It is a kind of club no one wants to join. A club where people who have good reason to believe their loved one was murdered but have nobody to lay to rest.

Taquila Hayes' mother speaks

One woman, who did not want to talk on camera, came up to WMC Reporter Janice Broach and her photographer, wanting to know the latest on the remains found on Mud Island. She thought it might be her loved one -- a terrible state of not knowing.

“It has been difficult trying to be so strong, you know just to keep it all together.”

Carl Hayes is behind bars awaiting trial on second-degree murder charges. It is not clear when his case will go to trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

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