A missing Accomack County woman may have died in a poultry-truck crash in North Carolina, and her body mistakenly scooped up along with dead chickens and other debris and dumped in a landfill.
The family of Alyssa Nicole Taylor, 25, of Oak Hall, a mother of two, has traveled to Orange County, N.C., to try to find Taylor or her remains.
Family members are setting their sights on a landfill where debris from the accident was taken. They planned to visit the landfill Tuesday.
There has been no sign of Taylor since the crash, which happened in the early morning hours of Sept. 14.
The fiery crash killed the driver, Danny McNeal, 51, of Exmore. Taylor’s family says she was traveling with McNeal at the time of the crash.
North Carolina authorities refuse to search the landfill, said Shelly Payton, Taylor’s aunt, because they say the missing lady wasn’t in the truck.
Taylor’s relatives were told Tuesday “that they won’t send somebody to the landfill because they don’t have the money; they don’t have the resources to do that,” she said.
“Their fire department, their police department, all of their people are saying, ‘Nope, she wasn’t in there,’ so they’re not going to waste money looking,” Payton said.
It is unknown if Taylor’s family will be granted permission to wade through the landfill debris searching for the body.
The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office Friday posted a missing person report on its Facebook page, seeking information about Taylor’s whereabouts.
Taylor is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, white, with green eyes and brown hair.
The last known contact Taylor made was Sept. 13. She said she was leaving the area in a tractor-trailer for a few days, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to a report in the News & Observer, of Raleigh, N.C., Taylor texted her mother at 1:15 p.m. Sept. 13 to say she was “riding with Danny in tractor trailer for two days.”
Sabrina Taylor, another aunt, this week started an online fundraiser at gofundme.com to raise money to help the family in its efforts to find the missing woman.
The crash caused the truck to catch on fire, Sabrina Taylor wrote, adding, “With little to no cab left, we have thus far just found her blanket and one flip flop among the wreckage. We are in North Carolina trying to find answers and closure and our baby girl so we can bring her home.”
Payton posted a live video Saturday, Sept. 24, of relatives looking at what remains of the truck after the crash.
“We’re looking. We’re being told there’s no evidence found,” she said near the beginning of the video.
A police officer is seen in the video accompanying Taylor’s relatives.
Taylor’s relatives during the video found a flip flop they say belonged to Taylor, as well as a pink blanket that somehow survived the fire.
“This is the blanket that she traveled everywhere with,” Payton said in the video.
Payton said the last location notification from Taylor’s cellphone came from a location “not even an hour from this crash site.”
Additionally, Payton in the video said relatives saw Taylor in the truck and heard what they identified as Taylor’s voice on police body camera video from Exmore, taken when McNeal was pulled over there.
She said a North Carolina official said there was nothing more to search from the wreckage, that the truck exploded, and the temperature reached 3,000 degrees.
But, she added, “I will do whatever it takes to figure out what exactly happened to Alyssa.”
Payton in a telephone interview with the Eastern Shore Post said family members plan to remain in North Carolina and will continue to press authorities for answers about Taylor’s fate. They have been there since Friday.
She, Taylor’s mother, and another aunt met Tuesday morning with the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Payton said an investigation by the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office that included cellular phone data shows Taylor was in the truck at the time of the crash.
“Accomack has done a wonderful job. I just keep praising them. Even since we’ve been down here, they keep saying the same thing — that they need to search the landfill,” Payton said.
Of North Carolina authorities, she said, “I feel like they are covering it up down here that somebody messed up.”
Taylor’s relatives planned to try to speak with first responders who were at the scene and also planned to go to the landfill where debris from the crash was taken later Tuesday.
McNeal died after the 2022 Mack tractor-trailer he was driving ran off the road in Hillsborough, N.C., around 2:15 a.m., then crashed into the abutment of the N.C. Route 86 bridge over I-85 and overturned, according to a N. C. Highway Patrol spokesperson.
ABC 11 television reported McNeal was hauling a load of chickens at the time.
McNeal’s dog also died in the crash, according to an online fundraiser.
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