A year later, still no answers on missing Eastern Shore woman

March 16, 2024
 |
Alyssa Taylor

A year later, an Eastern Shore woman believed to have been traveling with a trucker shortly before he died in an accident is still missing.

51 year old Danny McNeal was transporting a load of frozen chickens when his truck ran off the right shoulder of Interstate 85 early around 2:12 a.m. September 14, veering toward a guardrail and back toward the highway before crashing into the N.C. 86 bridge. The truck struck a concrete overpass support structure at an elevated speed causing a fire and explosion, which is unusual with diesel powered vehicles. McNeal and his dog Blu were pronounced dead at the scene. A toxicology report from the autopsy indicated his blood alcohol content was .32, four times the legal limit.

Alyssa Taylor, a 25 year old mother of two from Oak Hall, texted her mother on September 13 to say she was riding with McNeal on his run from Delaware to North Carolina and would be home in two days. Video surveillance showed McNeal with another person traveling with him along the route, but police say only one set of human remains was found in the truck.

Meanwhile Alyssa’s mother and aunt went to the site of the accident finding a pink blanket, one sandal and an earring they said belonged to Alyssa. The family retrieved a bucket full of items from the crash site but thus far no further trace of Alyssa has been found in the wreckage.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol stated they went over the remains of the truck three times but did not find anything that could confirm Alyssa was in the cab of the truck at the time of the crash. A representative from the NCHP has indicated they are now conducting a missing person investigation.

North Carolina Emergency Management discovered that the towing company did not disclose the correct contents of the debris that was cleared from the wreckage location. If the correct disclosure had been made, the debris with diesel fuel and chicken carcass contents would have gone to Virginia for incineration. Since the correct disclosure was not made the debris went to a landfill within North Carolina.

Investigators requested the Virginia Department of Emergency Management search MS 58 Plaza and the surrounding area utilizing dogs. Nothing was discovered.

North Carolina Highway Patrol also shared their reports with the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office. Within those reports, a cell phone extraction of a device discovered among the wreckage was attached. The extraction was of a phone found to be McNeal’s. Social media account records revealed a message that McNeal sent a family member on September 13, 2022. In that message McNeal advises that he has “that girl” with him. GPS pings and coordinates for McNeal, Taylor, and the tractor trailer correlate with each other. 

RoofMaxx

A cell phone ping request showed Taylor’s last cell phone ping was on Blue Mud Swamp Road in North Carolina, approximately 62 miles from McNeal’s crash site an hour before the crash. According to emergency disclosure requests, no activity has occurred on any of Taylor’s social media accounts since September 14, 2022.

Investigators presented their investigation to a representative of the FBI Chesapeake Violent Crimes. The FBI field office in Virginia did not take the case.

The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is still actively investigating this case.  Recently the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office received reports of an Instagram page messaging family members of Taylor and McNeals families claiming to be Taylor, alleging that Taylor was in the state of Montana. With the assistance of a Montana law enforcement agency, a residence was searched and found the claims to be false. Without evidence (biological, physical, or individual witness statements) the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office cannot conclude that Taylor perished on September 14, 2022, in the accident on I-85. 

So it has been a year and a half since the accident and the family of Alyssa Taylor of Oak Hall is still seeking some kind of closure from her mysterious disappearance.

Buchanan Subaru

If you have any evidence on this case please contact the Accomack County Sheriff’s Department at 757-787-1131 or 787-824-5666 or tips may be submitted at accomackcountysheriffsoffice.org.

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