David “Dave” Taylor: How Did He Die? Was He Killed?

With Netflix’s ‘Missing: Dead or Alive?’ living up to its title in every way imaginable, we get a real insight into not just the dark side of human nature but also the complexities of one’s decisions. After all, it carefully chronicles those true-crime cases wherein individuals disappeared without a trace left behind, so the reason could be anything from a deep offense to them being a runaway. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about one such matter in particular — that of family man David “Dave” Mark Taylor, as profiled in episode 3 — we’ve got the essential details for you.

How Did David Taylor Die?

Despite being a native of the woods in Barnwell, South Carolina, David had genuinely managed to build a good life for himself and his loved ones by the time mid-October 2021 rolled around. That’s because he’d consciously turned his lifelong passion for carpentry into the profession of construction/remodeling, only to then devote every bit of his free time to his wife as well as kids. It thus comes as no surprise the 59-year-old was deemed utterly trustworthy by the entire community, making his Monday, October 11, vanishing all the more shocking owing to the circumstances.

The truth is David had recently won a massive $10,000 lottery from a random scratch-off card, so he was on his way to collect the prize in Columbia when he was last seen or heard from alive. He’d actually called (maybe pocket dialed) his wife Cathy shortly before 3 pm, but she just heard what sounded like papers ruffling before the connection dropped, and then he didn’t pick up her ensuing worried dials. Then there was the fact his truck was found parked on a grass patch along the interstate, only for every single one of his belongings except the lottery card and his cell phone to still be inside.

However, as per protocol, it wasn’t until hours had gone by that David was officially reported missing, with the primary theories being he either ran away from home or was slain for the lottery money. That’s when his cell phone records (tower pings) as well as public tips came into play to help investigators locate him, pointing them right into a wooded area known as a relatively dangerous drug base. It was there the 59-year-old was discovered slumped against a tree by the ravine — his subsequent autopsy revealed he’d died on October 13 from “methamphetamine intoxication hypothermia.”

No Foul Play Was Found in David Taylor’s Death

Well, the short answer is no; David’s demise was reportedly purely accidental because there were no signs of him being harmed, hurt, or followed by a potential second party in any way, shape, or form. As for the question of suicide due to the fact the meth was seemingly self-consumed, this has been disregarded as well since the father of three had no history of severe depression or suicidal thoughts. In other words, as his body had no stab wounds, no gunshot wounds, no blunt force trauma, no nothing except for a high dosage of methamphetamine in his system, the coroner ruled his death as accidental.

Though it’s imperative to note the meth does explain David’s supposed erratic behavior in the hours after he left home without any suspicion, as usual, on the morning of October 11. According to the documentary series, his driving was all over the place once 12-1 pm came around, plus it could also mean it was him whom a tip caller had seen cross all six lanes of the interstate highway on foot. That’s because the sheer quantity of drugs in his veins could’ve caused paranoia and hence severe hallucinations — like someone was definitely out to get him — which in turn made him unstable.

The truth is this delusion is what made David vulnerable enough not to be able to get out of the woods on his own, resulting in him catching hypothermia and passing away roughly two days later. However, his wife of 38 years Cathy couldn’t believe any of this at first since she was under the impression he despised every kind of hard drug owing to the impact he’d seen them have on their own children. Yet it turns out their daughter Jessica Jean Taylor knew this side of him because he’d once approached her for some heroin/meth to help deal with the pain of a knee injury he’d acquired sometime back. David thus dabbled in drugs, and just one little experimentation turned everything upside down.

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