Community mourns slain student, family at candlelight vigil


Community members and family loved ones gather outside of North Royalton High School on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, for a candlelight vigil to remember the lives of Suzanne Taylor and her daughters, Taylor and Kylie Pifer. 

Elizabeth Harrington

About 100 people gathered at North Royalton High School Wednesday night, illuminated by candlelight, at a vigil in memory of the victims of a triple homicide: Kent State student Taylor Pifer, 21; her sister, Kylie Pifer, 18; and their mother, Suzanne Taylor, 45.

Police found the family dead in their North Royalton home Sunday night.

“She was so talented. She was so smart. Taken way too soon,” said Rhonda Whitelock, an organizer of the vigil and lifelong friend of Suzanne Taylor.

Silence overtook the vigil as family, friends and community members mourned the death of the three women.

Suzanne’s boyfriend, Scott Plymale, said the girls were “the most loving, caring people.”

Friends of the daughters shared their memories of the family — Taylor was known for being a softball pitcher, Kylie for her theatre talents and obsession with Grey’s Anatomy and Suzanne for being like a mom to all of her daughters’ friends.

Katelyn Bobak, Taylor’s friend, played softball with Taylor and said she was close to the family.

“Just last week, Suzanne texted me and asked me what I wanted for my graduation party,” Bobak said between sobs. “Softball will never be the same without them.”

Taylor’s boyfriend, Dale Kostar said Taylor loved softball “more than anything in the world.”

Kostar found the women in their home and called Plymale. Plymale then called 911.

“I’m thankful the good Lord protected me,” Kostar said. “I could have seen a lot worse.”

Erica Cope, Taylor’s roommate last year said, “all these girls are so special.”

Another vigil will be held on Saturday at Terminal Park Field 1 in Cleveland to celebrate Kylie’s birthday, which would have been on Sunday, June 18.

All three women were members of Tri-League Softball. The group posted on their Facebook page:

“We are saddened to learn about the passing of three members of our Tri-League family. Suzanne Taylor our Girls Commissioner and her daughters Taylor Pifer and Kylie Pifer were taken to soon.

They will be missed by many and have touched countless lives in our programs over the past number of years. We will be having a candlelight vigil in memory of the three of them. We are encouraging people to bring cupcakes as we will also be singing Happy Birthday for Kylie Pifer who would of turned 19 on Sunday.”

A YouCaring crowdfunding page has been set up to assist the family in paying for the funeral expenses.

Elizabeth Harrington is a regionals reporter, contact her at [email protected].