Ex-NC police officer’s remains found in ‘clandestine grave,’ officials say

Taylor Ashley Wright. Photo Courtesy: Brian C. Muhlbach/Facebook


PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG/WNCT) — An arrest report suggests a former Jacksonville, North Carolina, police officer found dead in Florida Thursday was killed by her friend over money.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said they discovered the body 33-year-old Taylor Wright in a wooded area off of Britt Road, which is in Cantonment, Florida.

Taylor Wright was a private investigator and former police officer.

According to an arrest report obtained by WKRG, Wright had placed a large amount of money into a safe deposit box belonging to Ashley McArthur, a friend and former technician at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Wright had attempted several times to get the money back, according to the report.

The report states that on Sept. 8, the last day Wright was seen alive, McArthur said the two spent much of the day together. McArthur told deputies that at one point they stopped by her house in Pensacola. When she came back out of the house, she said Wright was gone.

During the investigation, deputies obtained bank records for McArthur that revealed that on August 16, McArthur deposited a cashier’s check for $34,000 in Wrights name into her account. The report states that the money has since been spent.

On Oct. 19, deputies searched the property of Ashley McArthur on Britt Road and found human remains in a “clandestine grave” covered with concrete just west of the property. A specific necklace belonging to Wright was found with the remains.

McArthur is in the Escambia County Jail under a $1 million bond. She’s charged with second-degree murder and is due in court again on Nov. 19.

Wright worked in the Jacksonville Police Department from 2008 to 2009 and then again from 2012 to 2013.

“Officer Taylor Wright was a brave and spirited young officer, who we were happy to rehire to service when she returned to the area in 2012” said JPD Deputy Chief Timothy A. Malfitano. “She was a loved and valued member of our law enforcement family. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Taylor’s family and friends.”

Her former supervisor in the patrol division, Sgt. (Ret.) Brad Braithwaite says he’s devastated by the news.

“When they said she was missing I knew that wasn’t like Taylor to not contact her family or her friends,” he said. “Taylor always used to like to talk to people so I knew there was something wrong.”

Braithwaite says she was a go-getter, who will be missed.

“She was very energetic, outgoing and she would always smile,” he said. “She could be having a bad day and I’d come up to her and say, ‘Hey are you okay?’ She’d be like, ‘I’m okay,’ even though I knew she was having a bad day.”

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