A pregnant Queensland teenager who resorted to prostitution to support her growing family has paid for it with her life.
Tiffany Taylor, 16, was using online dating sites to sell sexual services and hasn’t been seen since meeting up with her last customer, 60-year-old Rodney Wayne Williams, on July 12.
Despite her body not having been found, Queensland police believe Williams is responsible for Tiffany’s death and, on Thursday night, charged him with murder.
His case was mentioned briefly on Friday in Beenleigh Magistrates Court, where it was adjourned until October 9.
Detective Superintendent Dave Hutchinson says Tiffany met Williams online the day she went missing.
She was last seen leaving a motel in the Logan suburb of Waterford West, where she lived with her long-term boyfriend, and getting into Williams’ car.
“Now we’ve also been able to establish that Tiffany was offering sexual services for money over the online dating services,” Supt Hutchinson said.
Tiffany’s sister Chloe said the practice was out of character for her sister and she would have resorted to it to financially support her family.
“She’d talk to anybody – just a young girl after a bit of attention from the wrong people I think,” Chloe said on Friday as her tearful mother, Leanne, sat beside her.
She said Tiffany was “a lovely little girl” and, at 20-weeks pregnant, was excited to be a mum.
“I was getting stuff for her for her unborn child, she was very happy about that,” she said.
Chloe said she was still hopeful Tiffany was alive and called for any witnesses to come forward.
Supt Hutchinson, however, was not as optimistic, saying the case highlighted the dangers of meeting anonymous online contacts in real life.
“The fact of the matter remains that (people) can’t confidently say that the people (online) are who they say there are,” Supt Hutchinson said.
“They don’t know if they’ve given correct names, they don’t know what their history is, they don’t know what these people are capable of.”
Supt Hutchinson said Williams had a criminal history, but wouldn’t elaborate.
He appealed for information from anyone who saw Williams’ car – a champagne-coloured 1995 Hyundai Excel sedan – at Logistics Place in the isolated industrial suburb of Larapinta, south of Brisbane, around noon on July 12.
Detectives believed his car was later travelling along the Brisbane Valley Highway, between the Warrego Highway and Fernvale.
Tiffany’s white Samsung smartphone was also never recovered, with police believing it had been disposed of around the suburbs of Bundamba and Riverview.