Friend of 21-year-old Tamia Taylor speaks out about her disappearance

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 8:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:27 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In the last three days since 21-year-old Tamia Taylor has been missing all eyes are on Downtown Memphis Riverboats and the three work friends Taylor was with Saturday night.

One of the work friends, Kuandera Jenkins said he has nothing to do with Taylor’s disappearance and all he wants is to find his friend.

“It’s a lot of rumors going around, is a lot of people saying that me and two of my friends have drugged her, we killed her, it’s too many rumors going around,” said Jenkins.

He wants to share what he witnessed in the hours before Taylor’s disappearance.

Jenkins said earlier Saturday Tamia drove from Brownsville to Jackson to go shopping, ”[At] 7:30 p.m., that’s when we all got dressed and was heading our way to Memphis. Tamia was already drinking. She had a little bottle with her and she was already taking shots and we were smoking,” said Jenkins.

Around 9 p.m., Jenkins said they arrived, parked on Beale Street, and walked the strip. At 11:15 p.m., Jenkins said he met up with more friends at Memphis Riverboats.

While waiting to board, he says Tamia met someone in line, “Them two were talking and whatever and he was telling her ‘Oh, you a Virgo, she’s a Virgo,’ so they started laughing and talking so he gave her some money to buy her a drink so she can celebrate her birthday,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins said after the Island Queen booze cruise took off, the group of four celebrated Tamia’s 21st birthday.

He said at some point Tamia walked alone to the bathroom and was gone for more than 15 minutes.”I walked down there to the first floor and I was talking to Canesha and Shanquila and I asked them where is Tamia? They looked and said she was just right here. So we all split it up and searched the whole boat while the boat was moving looking for Tamia.”

Jenkins said the group of friends searched the entire boat and around 1:45 a.m. when the cruise docked, they called police and Tamia’s family. After a search of the boat and the bars on Beale Street Tamia was still nowhere to be found.

”I’m praying she didn’t fall off that boat. I think somebody snatched her or I think somebody [or] some people on that boat got something to do with it,” said Jenkins.

At this time, Memphis police said the 21-year-old whereabouts are still unknown.

Investigators are asking that anyone who was on the Island Queen Booze Cruise from 11:30 p.m. Saturday until 1:30 a.m. Sunday to contact them.

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