- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Police are searching for information on a stolen license plate that may be connected to the case of Taylor Marie Behl, the Virginia Commonwealth University freshman who disappeared on Labor Day.

The personalized “GRN ERTH” Jamestown 400th Anniversary Virginia plate was stolen in Richmond about the time the 17-year-old disappeared, police said.

“This plate may be connected to the Taylor Behl investigation,” said Maj. Peggy Horn of the Richmond Police Department. “At this time, we need additional information to make a final determination.”

The person from whom the plate was stolen is not connected with the case, police said.

Police, citing the ongoing investigation, refused to give further details on how this license plate is connected with the case or why they are looking for it.

“We feel that giving any more information would be detrimental to the investigation,” said Cynthia Price, a police spokeswoman.

Several of Taylor’s friends have said privately that they think the freshman might have gone into hiding.

Officials with the Richmond Police Department refused to comment on that theory but “are following all leads and information that come in on the case,” Miss Price said.

“Our concern still remains that she’s been gone for a few weeks now, and that leads us to a concern about her safety. We definitely are looking at all possibilities,” she said.

George Peterson, a Behl family friend, said he thinks someone is “engaged in some sort of criminal enterprise.”

“There’s very little reason to believe that she has run away,” said Mr. Peterson. “Taylor had an extremely close relationship with her mother. This is just not the type of person who would run off.”

Taylor was last seen the evening of Sept. 5 when she left her dormitory room, taking only her cell phone, a small amount of cash, a student ID and her car keys. She told her roommate she would be back in a few hours.

The teen’s car was found two weeks later, less than two miles from her dorm. Her license plates had been replaced with Ohio plates reported stolen from a former VCU student several weeks before she disappeared.

Richmond police also are investigating the disappearance of a 17-year-old high school student and are seeking information about a 57-year-old Illinois man.

Police think Monica Rose Sharp met Jeffery Nichols on the Internet and that she was going to meet him on Sept. 18, when she was last seen near her home in the Museum District.

Police said the Belleville, Ill., man was driving a green four-door 1999 Oldsmobile Alero with Illinois license plates No. 6219015.

Anyone with information is asked to call 804/646-5100.

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