Body Identified As Missing VCU Student

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

October 6, 2005

There's been a break in the case of the missing Virginia Commonwealth University freshman. Police have now positively identified the body recovered outside of Richmond as that of Taylor Behl. She disappeared one month ago.

Behl's mother and her lawyer spoke to the press today and pointed fingers not just at one suspect, but at two. The news is what Taylor's mother has been dreading.

Police confirmed this afternoon that Taylor Behl's body had been identified by dental records. The medical examiner doesn't know yet how the teenager died.

"I'm sure you can imagine the shock and horror I feel knowing that the body found is most likely my baby's," said Janet Pelasara.

Pelasara made that statement this morning hours before the medical examiner confirmed the body found in a wooded area in Matthews County yesterday was that of her 17-year-old daughter Taylor Behl.

"We certainly believe that the strongest suspect they have already in custody," said Pelasara's attorney George Peterson.

Peterson is referring to 38-year-old Ben Fawley. He's the photographer police say had a relationship with Taylor. They found photos of the area where Behl's body was found on Fawley's computer.

"As far as I understand, Taylor has never been to that area; however, as you may know, Ben Fawley has been," said Peterson.

Peterson also believes that Fawley did not act alone. He says Behl had dinner with 22-year-old Jesse Shultz the night she disappeared. Shultz and Fawley both work at the Village Café.

"It seems very coincidental and suspicious to me, and I think the authorities are looking into any connection there," said Peterson

When questioned by police, Shultz denied he knew Behl and later failed a lie detector test. Police have called Fawley a person of interest since early on in the investigation.

"I'm positive the authorities will bring these sub-humans to justice and I pray they receive the death penalty," said Pelasara.

Pelasara says she wants her daughter remembered as the bright and beautiful girl she was.

Taylor would have turned 18 in just a few days on October, 13.

No charges have been filed yet in this case but some reports say they could come as soon as Friday.

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