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SODUS TRAGEDY: Family recounts another Taft slaying, GoFundMe established for HS senior

A pair of GoFundMe campaigns for Alyssa Taft, the 17-year-old Sodus High School senior tragically killed by her ex-boyfriend have been established.

“She went there thinking she would have money paid back that was owed,” explained Sheriff Barry Virts, telling a room full of reporters what led to the vicious killing. “Her refusal [to rekindle the relationship] was unacceptable.”

The two campaigns, called ‘Alyssa Taft Memorial’ and ‘Alyssa Kimberlee memorial fund’ respectively have independent goals to assist the family with costs related to the funeral and burial. The first, created by Tom Hughes, describes the campaign as an effort to ‘memorialize’ Alyssa.

The second, established by Alyssa’s aunt, Sandy Zaso says, “Please find it in your heart to help her family in anyway that you can. I would very much appreciate it.”

The first had raised a little more than $300 as of Sunday evening. While the second had raised more than $1,000.

Her ex-boyfriend, identified as David Knight-Hollis, 19, was charged with second-degree murder. Sheriff Virts said on Friday that Alyssa was stabbed in the ribs, and then had her throat cut.

Taft’s uncle told media over the weekend that it wasn’t the first brush with tragedy this family has experienced.

Alyssa’s grandmother, identified as Carol Taft, was murdered in Virginia by a man who she was in a relationship with.

Carol Taft’s killer was sent to prison for his actions. Similarly, she was killed after expressing interest in going home to her family in New York.

Read more about that story here.


Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts provided an update to the media on Friday afternoon, following the brutal murder of a 17-year-old Sodus High School senior.

Yesterday around 11:22 pm deputies received a call at the 911 Center from the victim’s mother that Alyssa Taft, 17, was missing.

Virts says that shortly after midnight deputies checked a residence at 6009 Boyd Rd., Lot 36, where David Knight-Hollis, 19, lived. He added that blood was found on the entry steps of the home.

Around 12:25 pm, the 911 Center advised deputies that they had a male on the line stating he “just killed a girl named Alyssa.” According to Virts, the male on the phone was Knight-Hollis.

Deputies then located the 19-year-old coming from a wooded area behind the house at Lot 36. They then located the deceased body of Alyssa Taft by the residence.

Virts said investigators believe Knight-Hollis lured Taft to his residence after she returned home from school in an attempt to rekindle a previous relationship. Once at the residence and after hearing that she was not interested in rekindling the relationship, Knight-Hollis grabbed a knife and would not let her leave.

When she attempted to leave — he stabbed her in the ribs and cut her throat to stop her from screaming, according to Virts.

At 11:45 am David Knight-Hollis was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge. He is now being held at the Wayne County Jail without bail.

Press Conference from Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts on Friday:

More coverage from around the Finger Lakes:

Deputies: Man, 19, slit throat of Sodus HS senior (CNY Central)
Police: Sodus teen killed ex-girlfriend after she rejected his advances (Democrat & Chronicle)
Sodus High School student murdered (FL Times)
Breaking News: Murder in Sodus (Wayne Times)
Deputies: Man, 19, slit throat of Sodus HS senior (WHAM)
Deputies: 17-year-old girl murdered in Sodus (WHEC)

Below are the latest reports from social media:

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