UPDATE: Husband charged in wife's 2002 slaying - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Husband charged in wife's 2002 slaying

Posted:

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVVA) - West Virginia State Police have charged a Virginia man in the death of his wife, whose body was found 10 years ago in Greenbrier County.

NBC affiliate WVIR reports that a warrant was issued for Thomas Tait in the 2002 death of his wife, Karen Santillan Tait.

Karen Tait's remains were discovered in the Greenbrier State Forest, but the body wasn't identified until 2011. She was listed as a missing person until then.

Following is the report form www.nbc29.com

West Virginia state police have issued a warrant to charge Thomas Tait of Waynesboro in the 2002 death of his wife.

September 2002 was the last time anyone saw Karen Santillan Tait alive, but Waynesboro police had no reason to look for her until an investigation of her husband raised red flags. It took help from West Virginia State Police, the FBI, Interpol and even the Philippine government just to confirm her fate.

Karen immigrated to the United States in 2000, gave birth soon after, and lived with her husband and child in a duplex on Fairfax Avenue in Waynesboro.  At the age of 23, Karen Tait vanished, but almost no one knew she was missing. 

In September 2002, West Virginia State Police began investigating the discovery of a woman's body in the Greenbrier State Forest.  It was quickly ruled a homicide but the body remained unidentified for 10 years.

Waynesboro police didn't start looking for Karen until nine years later, while investigating her husband - Thomas Neal Tait - for child pornography.  A yearlong investigation led to his arrest; investigators say some images on his computer were of children younger than age 2.  In September 2012,  he plead guilty to 20 counts of possessing child pornography. 

In a press conference earlier this week, Captain Kelly Walker with Waynesboro police said, "Thomas Tait told investigators that Karen simply left, and he presumed that she had returned to her family in the Philippines."

West Virginia State Police had DNA evidence, but no one to compare it to until Waynesboro police learned of its missing persons case in 2011. Investigators got a DNA profile partly from Tait's family in the Philippines.

At this point, investigators have not said when Tait will be formally charged in West Virginia. An extradition hearing is expected to be held, but no word yet on when.

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ORIGINIAL REPORT:

WAYNESBORO, Va. (AP) -- Waynesboro police are asking the public for help in solving the slaying of a woman whose body was found in West Virginia a decade ago.

Karen Santillan Tait's body was found in the Greenbrier State Forest in West Virginia in 2002. But the body wasn't identified until 2011. She was listed as a missing person until then.

The 23-year-old lived with her husband, 52-year-old Thomas N. Tait, in Waynesboro from 2000 to 2002. He told police that he assumed his wife returned to her native Philippines, where the couple was married in 1998.

The News Leader reports that Waynesboro police held a news conference Wednesday to ask anyone who knew the couple to contact police.

Police also are looking for a 1990 Cadillac that the Taits once used.

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