Slain Kent State student, family remembered

The house at 11489 Ridge Rd. in North Royalton, Ohio, where police found the bodies of Suzanne Taylor and her daughters, Taylor and Kylie Pifer.

Growing up, Taylor Pifer played soccer and softball, took honors classes and sang in the North Royalton High School choir for four years.

“Life’s too short to sit and wait for luck to come your way,” her Facebook profile reads.

The Kent State fashion design major died along with her mother, Suzanne Taylor, 45, and her younger sister, Kylie Pifer, 18, in what police say was a triple homicide in their North Royalton home.

Police identified George Brinkman Jr. as the suspect in the homicides. He was taken into custody Tuesday after a standoff in Brunswick. He is also believed to have killed a married couple in North Canton after killing the three women, according to police.

Taylor Pifer finished her junior year at Kent and worked at the Fashion School Store in downtown.

“(She was a) very wonderful person, very courteous to all her customers, great employee. I’m sickened by the news,” said Marguerite Loomis, the Fashion School Store manager. “She had a great attitude and aspiration for fashion.”

One of her Kent State friends, junior psychology major Nicole Barrett, said her fondest memories with Taylor included watching American Horror Story and eating popcorn.

Barrett and Taylor met in eighth grade, but their friendship blossomed their junior year of high school when they had honors biology together.

“She was so caring, so intelligent, and just all around a warm-hearted, happy person,” Barrett said.

Kayla Lombardo, another friend of Taylor’s, said she and Taylor were inseparable in middle school.

“I was always (at) her house because her family was like my own,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo’s favorite memory of Taylor is of them playing softball together. Taylor and her mom taught Lombardo how to play.

Taylor and her family also met Katelyn Bobak through a softball league three years ago. Their friendship clicked right away, Bobak said. The same happened with their mothers.

“(Taylor) was constantly there for me, yelling when I’m up to bat, cheering when I make a good play or texting me in my free time,” Bobak said. “She always made sure I was happy.”

Taylor’s high school choir teacher, Krista Bigger, said Taylor treasured her time in the program.

“She was such a sweet soul, and a quiet yet strong presence in our ensembles,” Bigger said. “She wasn’t one who craved the spotlight, but she loved being a part of our program, and was always greatly proud of our accomplishments.”

Kylie, Taylor’s sister, was fun and spunky, Bigger said. She recently completed her first year as a biology major at Bowling Green State University.

“Both of these young ladies were honest and kind, independent and strong, and cared a great deal about their peers,” she said. “They will be missed by everyone that knew them.“

Those who met Taylor found she was friendly and approachable.

“Sometimes when I meet people I get really nervous, but Taylor was the kind of person who was just easy to talk to,” said her friend, Emily Blauman.

Blauman and Taylor knew each other for about a year, and they were supposed to move in together in two months.

“Even though we didn’t talk on a day-to-day basis, and sometimes not even weekly, it didn’t matter. We would just pick up where we left off,” she said.

Maryana Ryumshin found out firsthand how friendly Taylor was when Ryumshin was a new student at North Royalton Middle School in fifth grade. She didn’t have anywhere to sit at lunch, so Taylor invited her to sit with her.

“What drew me to her as a person is that Taylor had an unconditional love for all her friends,” Ryumshin said. “She made everyone feel comfortable and loved.”  

In a statement, Kent State’s Fashion School said: “The Fashion School and the entire Kent State University community is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Taylor Pifer. Our hearts go out to Taylor’s family and friends during this tragic time.”

Andrew Atkins is the campus editor, contact him at [email protected]

Caitlin Albright is the construction reporter, contact her at [email protected]

Matt Poe contributed to this report, contact him at [email protected]