By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

PALESTINE – The Palestine Police Department has confirmed the death of a missing Palestine woman has changed to homicide.

Ricki Deann Taylor, 46, was last seen on the evening of Wednesday, June 21 in Palestine. She was reported missing on Thursday, June 22 to the police department.

Taylor’s body was found on the evening of Friday, June 23 in a remote location in Houston County, between Grapeland and Latexo.

“Ms. Taylor’s body was found in Houston County, on CR 2120, and was taken to Dallas for an autopsy. The medical examiner there ruled her death as a homicide. She was found with a gunshot wound to the head,” according to a news release issued late Monday afternoon by City of Palestine Communications and Best Practices Officer Nate Smith.

Detectives, along with the Texas Rangers, are continuing to pursue leads in Taylor’s death, the release said.

“They will release more information when they are able. Until then, the Palestine Police Department asks that the media and public bear with us as we continue to work through the leads and information surrounding the circumstances of Ms. Taylor’s death,” the news release said.

Anyone with any information regarding the crime is encouraged to contact the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254, Det. David Kassaw at 903-731-8482 or Det. Mark Harcrow at 903-731-8422. Information also can be submitted anonymously by texting PALPD, then the word tip to number 847411.