EDITOR'S NOTE: In addition to the original phone interview, some quotations have been added to this story from a text message sent after the original story was published.
The mother of Taylor Marshall says she is heartbroken at the tragic loss of her 22-year-old daughter, who was murdered last Thursday in her John Street apartment.
Reacting to news that police made an arrest in the case this morning, Shirley Marshall told SooToday it brings some relief, but doesn't change the fact her daughter is no longer alive.
“The world has lost a beautiful soul and a monster took her life," Shirley said. "He is a monster and he took her life and I am completely heartbroken."
Taylor enjoyed dancing, swimming as a young girl and she practiced piano. Shirley described her daughter as feisty and vibrant, with a beautiful soul.
"She always had such a huge smile with giggles and so much silliness to go with it," she said.
Taylor could talk to anyone, said Shirley, and liked going out with her friends and socializing.
"As her mother, I am so proud of the woman she has become, it is gut wrenching that she will never get to do those things," said Shirley.
Earlier today, Sault Police arrested 25-year-old Steven Jones of Toronto. He was already in police custody after being arrested Sept. 7 at the scene of a violent attack on Sault Ste. Marie's boardwalk.
Police told media both incidents are thought to be random acts because the attacker did not know either of the victims. The allegations against Jones have yet to be proven in court.
“My initial reaction as a mother is this is such a nonsensical thing that happened at random," said Shirley. "When I looked at that person’s picture I am horrified thinking that person had their hands on my daughter."
Shirley lauded the efforts of police investigators, who have been working the case around the clock for more than a week.
"The police have been there every single day, they have been letting us know we are not in the dark," said Shirley. "They basically have been taking care of my baby since she died and they did a good job — they found her killer and that’s all I care about right now."
“I couldn’t say enough about it — they’re amazing. They worked around the clock to help find justice for my daughter," she said of investigators. “We’re not done yet, but at least we know who the suspect is and now we have a long road ahead of us."
Now that a suspect has been named, Shirley said she is looking for answers for a situation that doesn't make any sense.
“I have all of these questions: How did they get here? What are they doing in my daughter’s house?'” she said. “When I get over the shock of everything I am going to be asking some questions, like: 'How the F did this ever happen?'"
“I am going to stay super strong and see justice for my daughter," she added.
Shirley said she wants to highlight the community safety concerns underlined by the death of her daughter.
“This was a very shocking thing in the community that I grew up in and decided to have children in," she said. "In our community this is unthinkable. This is where I was born and raised and this is not our safe spot anymore. This community doesn't feel safe anymore."
She added: "I never thought I would be unsafe in this capacity in my community where I grew up. This is just heartbreaking."
A Facebook group has been started called Justice for Taylor. Shirley wants to see it as a place to come together in response to the tragedy.
"We need to build an army of people showing their support for Taylor because something like this affects not only our family but everyone's family and sense of safety in this community," said Shirley. "Share your stories about our beautiful Taylor to keep her spirit alive. I want to hear all the silly things she did and said."