When Laura Day rushed her stepson, Taylor Syring, to a local hospital, he was already dead. What initially seemed like an unfortunate accident soon turned into something far darker. ABC News’ ’20/20: Wave of Deceit’ delves into the circumstances surrounding the young boy’s death and how Laura was eventually convicted of it. So, if you’re curious to find out just what happened, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Laura Day?
At the time of the incident, Laura was 47 years old and was married to David Syring. They lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, and David shared custody of his 6-year-old son, Taylor, with his ex-wife, Kelly Syring. On October 5, 2012, Laura rushed an unresponsive Taylor to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An investigation into how Taylor died followed, with Laura’s story coming under intense suspicion.
Laura told the police that she had picked Taylor up from school, and according to her, he wanted to go to the beach. So, they stopped by their home to pick up some beach wear before heading out to the waters. After finding a secluded spot, Laura said she put a life jacket on Taylor before removing it because he had a rash. According to Laura, “I said, ‘If you can show me that you’re OK and you feel safe enough to dive under the waves, and you feel comfortable, then I’ll let you swim and play in the shallow water, without your lifejacket.'”
Then, Laura turned around while Taylor was in the water, but in a split second, he was gone. Then, she claimed that the 6-year-old resurfaced a few feet on the right and was floating. Despite having a CPR certification, Laura didn’t perform chest compressions while trying to resuscitate Taylor.
Then, Laura claimed that she panicked and drove Taylor to a hospital about 12 miles away because she thought the paramedics wouldn’t arrive in time. The authorities later learned about a fire station much closer to the beach. Within days, Laura was charged with child endangerment, and as the investigators dug deeper, they found out about her criminal history. It turned out that in the past, Laura was convicted of murder.
When Laura was about 17 years old in May 1982, she had been in a relationship with 21-year-old James Kendall while in California. Laura shot James after he told her about breaking up with her. Then, she turned the gun on herself but survived. Later, Laura claimed she was abused, but there wasn’t any evidence to substantiate that. It was also reported that she carried out the whole thing to make sure they would be buried together.
Laura was convicted of second-degree murder but served only six years of her 17-year sentence. After her release in 1990, Laura moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and in 1993, she was convicted of bigamy. The authorities believed that she was married to up to three men simultaneously. In addition, Laura was arrested for insurance fraud and burglary, ending up in Texas in 1998.
There, Laura met David and eventually got married to him in 2012. A witness at the beach, Rene Ruiz, testified that he saw Laura smiling and waving at him as she left the beach on October 5. According to Laura’s story, she must have had Taylor in the car at this point. This development further pointed to foul play. The prosecution soon began building a case and claimed that Laura was the one who suggested going to the beach.
The state’s lawyers alleged that Laura wanted Taylor killed because he posed a threat to her marriage to David. She hoped to move away from Texas but was afraid David wouldn’t go without his son. At the time, David tried and failed to get primary custody. They pointed to her unusual interview with the police and her lack of remorse after the death (according to witness statements). An expert testified for the prosecution, saying that someone Taylor’s age wouldn’t float but sink. Furthermore, the tidal current reports on that day pointed to the body coming up in the opposite direction that Laura mentioned.
Where is Laura Day Today?
The prosecution also suggested that Laura was wary of David going back to Kelly. There was further evidence in recorded jail phone calls, where Laura told David that she never went home after picking Taylor up. In June 2013, she was convicted of capital murder, injury to a child, and child endangerment. As a result, Laura was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Later on, an expert refuted the prosection’s expert testimony regarding the drowning, but for now, Laura is still in prison. She maintains her innocence but remains incarcerated at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville, Texas. Laura has since separated from David and currently has a pen pal boyfriend.
Read More: Where is David Syring Now?