Girl creates fund for teen who escaped Muskegon County abduction

Posted at 10:06 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 01:00:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Jeffery Willis investigation in Muskegon County is in its second week.

Willis was arrested after allegedly trying to abduct a 16-year old girl in April.   He is charged in that case, and has now been named a person of interest in the 2013 Jessica Heeringa investigation.  Officials are also looking at Willis for any potential connections to the 2014 killing of Rebekah Bletsch.

A possible chance at closure in those cases would not be possible if the teen Willis allegedly tried to kidnap in April had not escaped.  Now, another abduction victim is offering support for that Muskegon County teen.

When 15-year-old Carleshia Taylor was just 8, she was almost kidnapped.   She says it happened on a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend in 2008.

Taylor saw this unnamed 16-year-old's story and has decided to help the girl out.

"I was younger, I was 8 years old and it was in 2008 when we went camping up in Silver Lake on Memorial Day weekend" said Taylor.

It's something Taylor says she can't forget.

"Some guy came and unzipped our tent, picked me up and carried me away" she said.

The man picked her up and carried her past five cabins near her tent. He put her down before carrying her over a chain link fence, but luckily Taylor woke up at the right moment.   She screamed for help and the man ran off. He would never be found.

"The police would call every Memorial Day weekend up until like two years ago and tell me they are still looking for the guy" said Taylor.

Seeing the story about the 16 year old girl escaping after Jeffery Willis allegedly tried to abduct her brought back terrifying memories.

"I know what she's going through" said Taylor. "It's a rough time. You just have to have faith through it all and put it in God's hands. She's brave for doing what she did. It's amazing."

Taylor created a Go Fund Me page for the girl to help her with any expenses, like counseling, schooling or whatever she may need.

"My goal is to raise $50,000 and she can use it towards college fees, counseling fees and any other circumstances, like life circumstances that she needs the money for," said Taylor.

Taylor says it was God's calling telling her to do this. She wants to help not just with monetary support, but emotional support as well.

"I feel like she needs to know other people care and support her," said Taylor.

Taylor says it's amazing to hear this girl could possibly have helped contribute to solving the other high-profile cases now being pushed toward the Willis investigation.   Even though her attempted abductor was never caught, she says it's getting easier to live with now, but it's something she can never forget.