Family of a Sodus teen, who deputies say was murdered by her ex-boyfriend at a Wayne County home, said her death has ties to painful memories about another family tragedy from decades ago.
The family of a Sodus teen, who deputies say was murdered by her ex-boyfriend at a Wayne County home, said her death has ties to painful memories about another family tragedy from decades ago.
Alyssa Taft’s uncle said this is a horrific case of déjà vu.
When asked what he meant by that, he said more than 50 years ago, back in 1966, Alyssa’s grandmother, Carol Taft, was murdered in Waynesboro, Virginia by a man she was in a relationship with.
Flash ahead to this week and deputies said Alyssa was stabbed to death by someone she knew and had also been in a relationship with,19-year-old David Knight Hollis.
After we spoke with Alyssa’s uncle, we looked back through newspaper archives saved in the News Leader based out of Stauton, Virginia and searched the name Carol Taft.
There are numerous articles that detail what happened to her.
Investigators said a man by the name of Ray Houghtaling kidnapped and threatened Carol because she wanted to leave Virginia to move back home to New York to her family.
“She did not tell him so he leaves, sneaks up there, gets ahold of her and kidnaps her,” Patti Kennedy said while describing what her father did 51 years ago.
Kennedy said her father knew the authorities were onto him and took off with Taft. Eventually, he met up with investigators. Kennedy said he tried to reach an agreement to get Taft back home.
“He said please just let me give her the money to go back to New York,” Kennedy said.
But Carol Taft never made it back. Instead, right in the parking lot of a police station in Waynesboro, VA , Houghtaling shot her in the head then tried to kill himself.
He was later arrested and sent to prison.
Then years later, Kennedy heard the devastating news of what happened to the granddaughter of a woman she loved and considered a mother.
“I’m hurting for them,” Kennedy added. “It feels uncanny to me somehow after all these years to know that her granddaughter would be murdered too."
According to court testimony, Carol Taft was in her late 20s at the time she was killed. Alyssa Taft, a senior at Sodus High School, was just 17.
Deputies found her body after her family reported her missing late Thursday night. The Wayne County Sheriff says her ex-boyfriend, Hollis, admitted to killing Alyssa because she didn’t want to restart their relationship.
He was taken into custody Friday morning and booked on a 2nd degree murder charge.