- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Investigators in the case of Taylor Marie Behl, whose remains were found last month in Mathews County, Va., are asking the public for help in locating a pond that appears in two photographs thought to be connected with her death.

“We’ve come across these images, and we’d like to ID where they are if we can,” said Les Lauziere, a computer crime unit investigator with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in Richmond. “Where we found them and how we came across them, we’re not disclosing.”

The photos of the pond are thought to have been taken somewhere near the Chesapeake Bay east of Richmond or near Mathews County, officials said. Investigators refused to comment on the significance of the photographs.

Mr. Lauziere also declined to comment on whether the photographs were found on one of several computers seized from Benjamin Fawley, an unemployed ex-convict who was one of the last people to see Miss Behl, of Vienna, Va., alive Sept. 5.

Fawley, 38, has not been charged in her slaying.

“I wouldn’t be too quick to characterize where these photos came from,” Mr. Lauziere said. “We have a massive amount of information we’ve developed in this case, and at some point in time, we’ll make an evaluation about this. As to where it was found and how it was found, we’ll come out with later if we need to.”

Fawley reportedly told Richmond Police that Miss Behl, 17, died accidentally when he cut off her air supply during an intimate encounter in her Ford Escort in Mathews County.

Fawley is being held without bail on unrelated child pornography charges.

The photographs are one of the few pieces of evidence released to the public since a Richmond judge issued a gag order on the case Oct. 18.

George Peterson, an attorney for Miss Behl’s mother, Janet Palesara, has said a grand jury will likely review the evidence Jan. 16.

Miss Behl, who was a freshman at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, was last seen leaving her dorm room on the night of Sept. 5. Her body was found off a dirt road in Mathews County Oct. 5.

Fawley is the only suspect in the case.

Miss Behl’s cause of death has not been released and is not known because of a lack of forensic evidence, a former attorney for Mrs. Palesara told The Washington Times earlier this month.

However, Miss Behl’s family thinks that the cause of death will eventually be released.

“I can speculate just like everyone else, but I would certainly hope that with the evidence that they are collecting and the fact that they are waiting for forensic evidence to come back, they will find one,” Mrs. Palesara told The Times earlier this month.

Mrs. Palesara did not return calls for comment yesterday. Mr. Peterson refused to comment on the photographs.

Anyone with information that can help identify the pond’s location is asked to call Mathews County Crime Solvers at 804/725-7001.

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