Mother's deadly fall off parking garage under investigation

Mother's deadly fall under investigation

There’s not a waking moment when Rich Gruwell doesn’t think about his daughter and how she died.
 
His 26-year-old daughter Taylor Gruwell-Miller fell to her death from The Icon at Ross apartment parking garage on Hall Street on Sept. 23. The mother of two’s death is a mystery police are trying to unravel.
 
The man who was with Taylor that night has given police a statement that does not match surveillance video. Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify two other men seen with him in the video. They hope the unidentified men can shed light on the events that led to Taylor’s death.
 
“I just want the truth,” her father says. “My daughter didn't take her own life.”
 
Taylor struggled with prescription drug abuse. She checked herself into a treatment facility in August. In letters and conversations with her family, she spoke of how she missed her kids and looked forward to seeing them again.
 
“We talked about her kids, and how proud I was of her,” Gruwell said. “I was always proud of her.”
 
While in treatment facility, Taylor met a former college football linebacker. He was on probation for a drug conviction. She left the facility with him two days before she died.
 
On Sept. 23, the night she died, Taylor called several of her family members including her father.
 
“She always starts the conversation with, ‘Hey, Daddy,’” he said. “So she said, ‘Daddy can I have some gas money?’”
 
Gruwell asked her why she wasn’t in the treatment facility. It was a brief conversation -- to his eternal regret. She was dead four hours later.
 
In surveillance video released by police Thursday, you see Taylor walking with the man she met in the treatment center. They are holding hands, but look like they may be having a disagreement.
 
They get in a black car. They drive to the top of the parking garage. Minutes later, Taylor plummets to her death. The man drives back down to the third floor alone.
 
About two hours later, the man texts a friend of Taylor’s asking if he’s seen her. He told the friend that when he came back she was gone. He texts again about 2 a.m. asking, “Is she with you?”
 
He has refused to meet with detectives. WFAA is not identifying him because he has not been charged with a crime.
 
He told police in a written statement he left Taylor and his dog at the top level of the garage and went back to visit his friend. Taylor was missing when he returned. The man said he walked around with the dog trying to find her and drove around looking for her, but could not locate her.  None of this is reflected in the surveillance video.
 
Police found no evidence of the dog reflected in the video or when they searched the man’s car.
 
He was found passed out in his car the morning after Taylor fell to her death. No dog was found in the car, either. He was sobbing, telling police that someone close to him had died – contradicting his written statement that he did not know Taylor had died.

Police have the man’s phone. It’s password protected. He refuses to unlock it for detectives.
 
When police tried to identify the two other men that were with the pair, the woman renting the apartment refused to disclose their identities. She has since been evicted.
 
Gruwell is convinced the man knows what happened to his daughter. He said there is nothing in her medical reports to indicate that she was suicidal.
 
He recently sent a letter to the man's parents, begging them to convince him to talk to police. He begged them for the sake of his grandchildren to convince him to cooperate. He enclosed a picture of his grandchildren with the letter.
 
Taylor’s two kids – two-year-old Greyden and 4-year-old Emory -- have not yet been told their mother is dead. He’s just not sure how to tell them mommy’s never coming back.

Her daughter is the spitting image of her mother at that age. It pains him that Greyden probably won’t remember his mother, except in pictures, videos and the memories of those that knew her.
 
The children are with their father out of state. “Their dad is a good man,” Gruwell said. “He is doing the best he can.”

The entire family is taking it hard.
 
Taylor was inseparable from her brother, who is 11 months older. Her younger sister isn’t ready to talk about it. Her mother, his ex-wife, is devastated.
 
Did Taylor fall or was she pushed? Her family desperately wants to know.
 
“I think there’s one person at least that knows what happened to my daughter, and I just wish that person would tell the truth, whatever that truth is,” he said. “Just come forward and say what happened.”
 
Anyone with information regarding the identity of the individuals in the video or information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Derick Chaney at 214-671-3650 or derick.chaney@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us.  Please refer to case number 218587-2017.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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