Debit card belonging to murdered Claremonter used in Oklahoma

As Claremonter Kris Meyer searches for answers in his son’s death, a debit card belonging to the slain 27-year-old was used in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma City Police Department sent out the information via Twitter on May 3, noting that the man, whose image was captured by a security camera, was seen using a card belonging to Taylor Meyer at an ATM. A time stamp notes the images were captured on December 7, 2018 just before 4:48 p.m., nearly a month after the murder. Police said the man was driving a silver SUV.

Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department told the COURIER last week that not much more information was available.

“We don’t know if that’s the person who had anything to do with the death, but we do want to get them identified,” Sgt. Knight said.

In one picture, a woman could be seen in the passenger seat.

Taylor Meyer was killed on November 9, 2018 while he was in Playa del Carmen, Mexico celebrating a friend’s birthday. His body was found in a plaza away from the resort where he had been staying with friends.

His father, Kris Meyer, told the COURIER that he found out about the tweet from the Oklahoma City Police Department after news media began contacting him for comment. He was first shown the surveillance footage in January.

He knew someone had attempted to use Taylor’s debit card at an Oklahoma City credit union in December, when he noticed the unusual activity in Taylor’s bank statements. He took the information to the Claremont Police Department.

“I said, this could be the only lead you have,” Mr. Meyer said.

CPD coordinated with the OKCPD to get the video.

“I was warned before I watched it,” Mr. Meyer said. “It could be rather emotional, seeing this person. And it was.”

Mr. Meyer didn’t talk about the footage until the news media contacted him months later.

Since the images were made public, the Meyer family has posted them across social media, trying to get the information out to as many people as they can. A family friend, who works for a facial recognition company, is also running the images through their database, he said.

“If this guy’s got a prior criminal record or if he has a passport for the US or Mexico, it should show up on that,” Mr. Meyer said.

But ultimately, he wants the authorities both in California and Oklahoma to have enough room to do their job.

“As I’ve said all along, obviously I want justice, but as I said during the memorial service, I’m a Christian and I forgave the people who did this,” he said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But it brought me peace of mind, so that was worth it.”

Mr. Meyer has also been lobbying the US State Department to raise the travel warning for American tourists going to Mexico.

Right now, Mexico as a whole is rated at level 2 out of 4, indicating that travelers should “exercise extreme caution.” Some states are at level 4, the “do not travel” level. Quintana Roo, the state where Playa del Carmen is located, is at level 2.

Mr. Meyer believes Mexico’s overall rating should be higher. The State Department told him they have “some complicated metrics they use to establish this,” he said, and they assured him it doesn’t have anything to do with politics.

It’s something he has a hard time believing, he said.

“I would like to see the state department release how they can justify making Mexico be a level two travel advisory, the same as Germany, the same as Italy, the same as France, the same as Antarctica,” Mr. Meyer said. “I have yet to find a murder of an American in Italy or Germany.”

One person, only identified at “Hilario N.,” was arrested on suspicion of murder on November 12, according to Riviera Maya News, a local English-language news site near Cancun.

The American consulate in Mexico told Mr. Meyer three people attacked Taylor and killed him when he fought back. But when he talked to a local investigator, he was told four people attacked him. He’s also worried that the Mexican government is trying to cover up the murder.

“I don’t know what to believe,” he said. “But I know one thing; they only arrested one.”

Since Taylor’s death, the family has experienced what Mr. Meyer calls miracles.

One particular story began when he and his wife, Krista, were flying back from Colorado after spending Christmas with family. They were seated next to a man who told them “God would send us a sign about Taylor, saying he was okay,” Mr. Meyer said.

Hours later, Mr. Meyer received a gift from one of his employees—a Hermosa Beach street sign for “Meyer Court.” What the employee didn’t know was that Taylor lived on that same street before his death.

As it turns out, the “sign” was an actual sign.

Later, when the Meyers went to Ontario Airport to drop off their daughter, they happened to run into the same stranger from the previous plane trip. 

“And his first words were, did you get the sign?” Mr. Meyer said.

—Matthew Bramlett


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