Suspected killer of mother, 2 kids extradited back to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — A man accused of killing a missing woman and her two children was extradited back to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday.

Newly-released body camera video shows officers with the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office arresting 35-year-old Benjamin Taylor in California last month.

Taylor was wanted in connection with the deaths of 22-year-old Markayla Johnson and her two children, 4-year-old Miracle and 7-month-old Messiah.

Johnson and her children were reported missing on March 8. Their remains were found later that month at the Orchard Trace apartment complex in north Charlotte, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Police haven’t released a motive.

Community activist Tina Quizon told Channel 9 that she has been following the case closely, and one big question on her mind is why.

“It is even hard to ask those questions, but I think until we know more about this puzzle, people don’t know how to respond,” Quizon explained.


Taylor was arrested in Imperial County at a campsite between Salvation Mountain and an area called Slab City, which is an off-the-grid community. He’s been charged with three counts of murder and one count of concealment of death.

Taylor was in custody in Imperial County, but on Friday morning, the jail confirmed he was no longer in their custody.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., police announced that Taylor was in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

“A lot of mixed feelings”

Markayla Johnson’s sister, Tabby Holiday, spoke with Channel 9′s Glenn Counts after finding out Taylor had been returned to North Carolina.

“A lot of mixed feelings about that; I don’t have just one,” Holiday said. “I just want them to throw the book at him with everything that they got.”

The family said Johnson moved to Charlotte from Myrtle Beach at the end of January to be with Taylor. But they said her text got weird around February, and now they wonder if it was Taylor pretending to be her.

“Something short instead of having an emoji attached to it and not FaceTiming anybody. It was different and out of character for her,” Holiday explained.

A funeral for Markayla, Miracle, and Messiah Johnson will be held on Saturday. Holiday said it would be a tough day for the family.

“My sisters, we’re all going to go to counseling. This is a hard one. My sister’s taking it pretty tough. She can’t even; she tried going home to get the stuff, but she couldn’t go into the house,” Holiday said.

(WATCH BELOW: Body camera footage released of man arrested in California for killings of mom, 2 kids)