Crime

Carpet heir is arrested in death of 22-year-old woman whose body was found in alley

Robert Butler III faces charges of failure to report a death, felony possession of marijuana and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
Robert Butler III faces charges of failure to report a death, felony possession of marijuana and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Police have arrested several people, including a son of a prominent flooring store chain’s late founder, as part of an investigation into the death of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in an alley last year.

The woman, Taylor McAllister, a mother of two, was last seen alive at the Palm Harbor home of 52-year-old Robert Butler III, investigators said. His father was the founder of Bob’s Carpet and Flooring, the chain with more than a dozen stores in West Florida.

Authorities found McAllister’s body in an alley near 63rd Avenue South on Dec. 22, 2016.

Detectives later learned that she had been left there by Deonte Baker, 35, and Quran Archer, 25, who told investigators they picked up McAllister from Butler’s home when she was “barely conscious,” according to a police report issued Wednesday.

After they realized McAllister was dead, the men tried to return to Butler’s house in Palm Harbor’s Cobb’s Landing neighborhood, according to arrest reports. But Butler allowed them to only remove McAllister’s personal belongings and to have their truck cleaned, the men allegedly told investigators.

Butler faces charges of failure to report a death, felony possession of marijuana and being a felon in possession of ammunition. He could not be reached for comment, but jail records show he was released on $15,150 bail Wednesday.

Baker is facing charges of failure to report a death and money laundering. He is a drug dealer, according to the arrest reports, and from March 2013 through April 2016, he cashed $194,150 in checks from a drug buyer, laundering it through his girlfriend’s personal and business accounts.

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