Local News

Police conduct checkpoint in Taft murder investigation

Posted March 19, 2010
Updated March 20, 2010

— Raleigh police conducted an informational checkpoint Friday night near the home where state Board of Education member Kathy Taft was attacked two weeks ago.

From 11 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday, officers distributed 1,000 fliers to motorists at Oberlin Road and Cartier Drive. The fliers contain of a photo of Taft and ask for any information about suspicious activity in the area.

Taft, 62, died March 9 at WakeMed, three days after being brought to the hospital for severe head trauma.

2710 Cartier Drive Police setup checkpoint in Taft investigation

Several sources told WRAL News that Taft's sister called 911 the morning of March 6 from a home at 2710 Cartier Drive, indicating that she thought Taft was experiencing complications from a minor surgical procedure she underwent a day earlier.

Police were called after a surgeon examined Taft and realized she had been assaulted, sources said. Surgical bandages on her face likely concealed the wounds, they said.

Chief Harry Dolan said the assault occurred "some hours before" investigators were called, but the time of the crime hadn't been narrowed down from late March 5 to early March 6.

Police haven't determined if the assault was a random act of violence.

Taft was staying at the home of John Geil while recovering from the procedure, according to friends. Geil was in Florida when the attack occurred and has since returned. The pair had dated in the past and were still friends, according to relatives.

“I think everybody wants to see it (the investigation) resolved,” said Kevin Kerata, who lives around the corner from Cartier Drive.

Kerata said he wants people to know the area is still a safe place to live.

“This is something that can happen anywhere. We still love this neighborhood. We love our neighbors. We go for walks. It’s a great place to live,” he said.

Taft's family has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information that might help police is asked to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-HELP.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • invisible69mailx2 Mar 19, 2010

    this case is strange stuff. i do have sympathy for the taft family...no one deserves to go like kathy did. but it will be interesting when all is known.

  • Tarheelfan13 Mar 19, 2010

    I question the Constitutionality of this. I understand checkpoints are legal in regards to motor vehicle issues and actually looking for a person. But to stop random everyday citizens specifically for this purpose seems like a possible 4th Amendment Violation. The city of Raleigh may want to check the Constitutionality of this move.

  • rargos Mar 19, 2010

    Something doesn't add up here : how was she violently assault in her home but the sister doesn't notice anything when she arrives? No signs of struggle? Nothing stolen/missing? If it were some B&E/home invasion, did the perp leave without taking anything or leaving any signs of struggle?

    Somthing doesn't add up here ... I wonder if Raleigh PD is trying to lure a "person of interest" into a false sense of security ...

  • ncmickey Mar 19, 2010

    I have seen the police do this before. Usually when the have no leads.

  • Common Sense Man Mar 19, 2010

    "an 'informational checklist' between 11 pm and 3 am? what?! who are you passing these fliers out to? drunk drivers?"

    They are doing it on the same day and approximate time that the murder happened. Guess you can't use your brain eh?

  • Hans Mar 19, 2010

    "Do the police set up check points when someone in Southeast Raleigh when someone is murdered. What about a convicted drug dealer, do we set up check points for person, who murdered him?"

    Of course not, PE. Those in SE Raleigh are not of the right socioeconomic status to be worthy of such a response.

  • Hans Mar 19, 2010

    In other words, they have no clue. So much for that significant progress.

  • itsmyownopinion Mar 19, 2010

    "...Do we investigate the murder of a convicted drug dealer, the same way Ms.Tafts murder is being investigated?..."

    Are you seriously worried about that?

  • hardwork919 Mar 19, 2010

    A checkpoint? LOL Seriously? I'm still guessing it has something to do with the sister, the ex and the doctor... RPD isn't grasping at straws for nothing... it seems as if they have nothing to go on...

  • MaplesMom Mar 19, 2010

    I think this is nothing but a smokescreen.... I still bet a bright and shiny penny that the sister is involved... Hate the thoughts of that, but we've seen a good amount of domestic crimes in this area.