Pregnancy, Lies, Kidnapping and Murder

Who Would Steal a Baby Just to Keep a Man?

Taylor Rene Parker/Morton mugshot, courtesy of Idabel police department

Two Peas in a Pod

They met on the internet but became real-life friends. Taylor Parker took Reagan’s engagement pictures in 2019. A few months later, she photographed their wedding. On October 8, 2020, she delivered Starbucks and a baby gift to seven-and-a-half-month pregnant Reagan Hancock. The next day, she killed her.

The Tangled Web of Lies

Taylor Morton Parker had zero chance of getting pregnant. She’d had her tube tied and a hysterectomy. This was information she did not share with her boyfriend, Wade Griffin when she announced they were expecting in February 2020. Griffin was delighted.

A Tragic Ending

According to the probable cause affidavit, Reagan’s mother called 911 at 10:18 a.m. on October 9, 2020, after finding her daughter lying face down on the ground. There was blood everywhere; on the floor, furniture walls, appliances, all over the house. Officers responded to the scene and, after being told the victim was 34 weeks pregnant, asked EMS personnel to come and check on the baby.

The Motive: It’s Not What You Think

When something like this happens — and rarely it does — most people assume that a long-unfulfilled desire for a baby — perhaps one of the most instinctual and powerful desires some women ever experience — is the impetus. Perhaps years of desperately trying to get pregnant or mourning failed fertility treatments has finally driven the perpetrator mad.

A Hint of Things to Come

When someone is arrested for a crime, people come out of the woodwork to talk about their relationship with them. It could be a best friend or a person who sat next to them in the second grade. And, given the context in which they find themselves, what they have to say is rarely positive.

What’s the Problem?

I have never met this defendant. She has not yet been convicted of this crime so, despite the apparent overwhelming amount of evidence against her, she is innocent until proven guilty. I have, however, covered several fetal abduction cases before, and the facts are amazingly similar to this one.

The Bottom Line

Reagan Simmons Hancock fought hard for her life and the life of her unborn child. She fought to the very end. Parker’s fight for her life will start in September; opening statements are scheduled to begin on September 12. If she is convicted of capital murder and kidnapping charges, she faces death by lethal injection or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.

Forensic psychologist/private investigator//author of serial killer book. Passionate about victim’s rights, the psychology of true crime, and criminal justice.