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TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 8 | Relatives describe horrors of crime scene; medical workers put pieces together

by Lori Dunn | September 22, 2022 at 4:48 p.m. | Updated September 23, 2022 at 12:51 p.m.
(Stock image)

Editor's Note: This story contains crime scene descriptions that some readers may find disturbing.


NEW BOSTON, Texas -- Jessica Brooks found herself in the middle of a nightmare when she walked into daughter Reagan Hancock's house on the morning of Oct. 9, 2020, and saw blood on the floor.

Brooks knew something was wrong when no one could reach Reagan on the phone that morning and that 3-year-old granddaughter Kynlee Grace was not at day care. Her fear intensified when she found blood on the back door of the house.

"As I approached the door, I looked down and see a bloody fingerprint on my baby's door knob. I took my work shirt to turn the door knob. I could see a bloody shoe print on the kitchen floor, but I thought if my baby is in there and she's hurt, I gotta get to her," Brooks testified Thursday morning.

Reagan Hancock was face down on the living room floor in what a Bowie County investigator later testified was a "shocking crime scene."

"Her red hair was what stood out -- and her hair was blonde, about the color of yours," Brooks said softly under questioning from Assistant Bowie County District Attorney Kelley Crisp.

"I knew from all of the blood that she was gone," Brooks said. "I think I screamed because I didn't know what to do. I think I fell to my knees and then I called 911."

Taylor Parker is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty in the killing of Reagan Simmons Hancock of New Boston and the taking of her unborn daughter Braxlynn who also died. Parker has pleaded not guilty. She is represented by attorneys Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana and Mac Cobb of Mount Pleasant, Texas.

The courtroom was packed again Thursday, with an extra row of chairs added to accommodate the crowd.

Crisp asked Brooks to describe her relationship with her daughter.

"She's my firstborn," Brooks said. "Reagan wanted to be with mama. She was my sidekick ... she was my shadow, really, no matter how old she was."

Marcus Brooks, Reagan Hancock's stepdad since she was 9, testified that he was home the morning of Oct. 9 and was getting ready to work on an old truck with his best friend, Chris Hughes. He and Hughes headed over to Hancock's house shortly after Jessica Brooks told him she was worried about her daughter.

Marcus Brooks testified that he became distraught when he saw the house.

"It seemed like every inch of the room was covered in blood," he said.

His next thought was about Kynlee.

"I went back out to Jessica, but my next thought was where Kynlee was at. I went back in and started yelling Kynlee's name. I was afraid I was going to find her in there with Reagan," he said.

After about the fifth time he called her, he heard Kynlee's "muffled voice."

Marcus Brooks asked Hughes if he could get Kynlee, because he did not want to walk past his stepddaughter's body.

"He started yelling, 'She's in there, she's in there, and you got to go get her,'" Hughes testified.

He said Kynlee was on her bed and that he wrapped her in a blanket and carried her out of the house.

Homer Hancock, Reagan's husband, arrived at the house shortly after the police.

"We kept him out of the house ... it was a struggle, but he didn't need to see that," Marcus Brooks testified.

Chad Ford, who was a Bowie County Sheriff's Office investigator at the time, was dispatched about 10:30 a.m. to the Hancock's house on Austin Street. He testified that in his extensive experience with crime scenes, the Hancock house was "probably the bloodiest crime scene I've ever been to."

Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards questioned Ford. She also showed the jury photos Ford took at the crime scene as Ford described each one.

In one photo, he pointed out bloody shoe prints on the floor.

In another photo, the jury could see Reagan Hancock face down with one arm under her head and one arm extended. Ford described there was blood pooled under her abdomen.

The first LifeNet crew at the scene did not originally enter the house, Ford testified, because it did not appear to be a survivable incident and they did not want to disturb the crime scene.

When Ford learned Hancock was in her third trimester of pregnancy, he called for another LifeNet crew to determine if the baby might be viable. That's when he learned the baby was gone, he testified, and alerts issued across the area.

Jarrod Nall, a paramedic and clinical manager with LifeNet, testified that he was the paramedic who examined Hancock to determine if she was still pregnant. Crisp played a recording of Nall as he examined the wounds in Hancock's abdomen.

"There was no baby, there was no placenta," he said.

A short time later, Nall made a connection with Reagan Hancock's missing baby and another call LifeNet had responded to that morning.

"I had heard one of our units responded earlier to an infant cardiac arrest. I kind of filed it away, but later it just seemed very suspicious to me. Several things that don't happen that often were happening in a very short amount of time," he testified. "It was more than enough for me to realize these things were connected so I called the New Boston Police Department. But someone else had already made the connection and were on their way to Idabel."

Earlier Thursday, Elton Crossland, a flight paramedic with LifeNet, testified that when he responded to the call of a baby born to a woman on the highway, he noticed the amniotic fluid on the baby was "dry and flaky, signaling to us that the baby had not just been born."

Crossland told Richards he questioned the conditions of the inside of Parker's car.

"The birth of a baby is not a neat or clean process. There was no blood or amniotic fluid. It was obvious to us the baby was not born in the car," he told Richards.

Crossland testified the baby did not have a pulse and was not breathing. He started giving IV fluid to the baby and continued to do CPR.

"We gave epinephrine, it's also known as adrenaline and can help restore a pulse," he testified.

It was only a 3-mile difference between Titus County's hospital and McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, so paramedics decided on Idabel, because "that's where the doctor was." Parker was very determined to go to Idabel, he said.

"She said if we didn't take the baby to Idabel, we were not taking her," he testified.

Jurors also heard testimony from Carissa Bryan, a registered nurse who worked in obstetrics at McCurtain Memorial on Oct. 9, 2020.

Bryan testified that she was checking Parker's uterus so it could "clamp down" and not bleed, but it did not feel like a normal uterus for a woman who had recently given birth.

"What was going through your mind?" Richards asked.

"We had a mom, we had a baby and a placenta. It didn't make sense," Bryan said.

She also testified that Parker had no "active bleeding."

An additional examination by a doctor proved that Parker did not give birth, Bryan testified.

Testimony continues Monday at the Bowie County Courthouse.



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  photo  Taylor Rene Parker

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