Deputies Identify Murder Victim in Cape Girardeau County

Bollinger County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity of a man who was allegedly murdered by two Marble Hill, Missouri, residents last week. Joshua Taylor, 32, a developmentally disabled man, was found dead early Friday morning at a residence on Bollinger County Road 346. Deputies say ce, Taylor was found by responding deputies at approximately 1:15 a.m. Friday morning lying face up and partially submerged in a pond on the property. Taylor was determined to be dead when deputies arrived and had several injuries to his face, including bruises on his eyes and nose, multiple abrasions on his forehead and lacerations above both eyes and on his lip. In addition, deputies reportedly found red marks consistent with ligature marks on Taylor’s left wrist and forearm. Following the discovery of Taylor’s body, deputies reportedly made contact with the residents of the property, Joshua Proffer and Heather Watson of Marble Hill, along with an unidentified witness. Proffer and Watson were both arrested in connection with Taylor’s death, and charged with first-degree murder. The witness reportedly told investigators Taylor was restrained to a chair inside Proffer and Watson’s residence. Watson allegedly struck Taylor, at Proffer’s instruction, repeatedly with closed fists and a bar of soap that was placed inside a sock. According to the witness, a towel had also been placed over Taylor’s head, covering his face, and water was continuously poured onto it. Once Taylor was determined to be dead, Watson and Proffer allegedly dragged his body outside and placed it in the pond. Deputies obtained a search warrant for Watson and Proffer’s residence and collected several pieces of evidence consistent with information provided by the witness. Proffer and Watson remain in custody at the Bollinger County Jail on $1 million cash-only bond. Presiding Judge Alan Beussink denied the two a bond reduction during a hearing Monday morning. Proffer and Watson’s next court hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 14 at Bollinger County Courthouse.

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