- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ben Fawley, a Richmond man linked to the disappearance of Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Taylor Marie Behl, is no longer a “person of interest” in the case, Richmond police said yesterday.

The police initially called Mr. Fawley, 38, a person of interest because they wanted to interview him, said Cynthia Price, a spokeswoman for the Richmond Police Department. Because that interviewing process is complete, she said, they no longer can classify him as such.

The “person of interest” title is a matter of semantics, said Kirsten Nelson, another police spokeswoman. Mr. Fawley still is “still part of this case,” she said.

Mr. Fawley was arraigned Monday on 16 counts of possession of child pornography and ordered held without bail. Police raided his apartment last week and took several computers and disks, a search warrant shows.

Taylor was last seen on Labor Day. Her car was found two weeks later, about two miles from her dormitory.

Mr. Fawley’s former attorney said Mr. Fawley and Taylor, 17, had a romantic relationship. The two had sex on several occasions, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Jagels said.

Friends and family of Taylor are raising money for a reward for information about her location. The fund has reached $14,000, said Taylor’s mother, Janet Pelasara.

A fundraiser concert will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Va., where Taylor once worked.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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