Carolee Taylor was a Houston, Texas loan officer who was shot to death at a family birthday party on Christmas Eve. Police say her former boyfriend, Albert Simon, murdered Taylor, and friends are remembering Taylor’s kind soul and vibrant personality.
There is a manhunt for Albert Benjamin Simon, 52. The Harris County sheriff said the victim was wearing festive holiday attire when she was gunned down and emphasized that her death highlights the problem of domestic violence.
“…Went to this scene last night and couldn’t help but think that her final moments were spent happy celebrating her birthday with friends. She wore holiday festive attire. Simon brutally gunned her down. We must find him asap. Domestic Violence is a serious epidemic,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote in a statement on Twitter.
On December 28, 2019, a deputy shot and wounded Simon after encountering him at Hermann Park. He made a sudden move toward a bag, according to authorities.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Three Years Ago, Carolee Dawn Taylor Wrote About Life Being Short & Living ‘Every Day Like It’s Your Last’
Taylor lost a brother in a car accident. This loss prompted her to write a post that is still visible on her Facebook page, only three years ago. In light of the current tragedy, it now reads as somewhat prophetic – a final message to the world.
“I find myself saying ‘life is short’ often,” she wrote. “Maybe it’s because I lost my brother in a car accident when he was just 20…Could be the fact that I waited until I was in my mid thirties to get married finally….and still failed. I guess I probably say life is short out loud so often to remind myself how insanely fortunate I am to have my family, friends, faith and health.”
She added: “It’s not just about living every day like it’s your last. I try to also remind myself that yesterday is gone, so live life in the moment and forgive those that need it most. I will certainly ‘remember what it taught me’ though. Surround yourself with people who deserve to be a part of your life and give more than you receive. Someone who is pretty inspirational taught me the 51/49 rule. It should be applied to not only my professional life, but personal as well.”
Taylor concluded: “Sometimes it’s just about looking forward to the next chapter. I look forward to sharing it with you all!”
2. Carolee Worked as a Loan Officer & Wrote That She Had a History of Working in the ‘Financial Services Industry’
On LinkedIn, Carolee described herself as, “Experienced Senior Loan Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Strong finance professional skilled in Loans, Sales, Communication, Loan Origination, and Marketing.”
She wrote that she worked as a regional sales manager for a company in Houston, and had done so for the past five months. “New home builder structural warranty and innovative builder solutions to include insurance options,” she wrote.
She previously worked as a senior loan officer for various companies in Magnolia and Houston, Texas. She had a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston University. She wrote on Facebook that she had lived previously in Bogota, Colombia.
Carolee wrote on Facebook: “Huge football day for this Detroit born gal with a 713 area code! ?❤️?” In 2016, Taylor wrote on Facebook, “Having dinner tonight with my beautiful daughter. She loves the Caesar salad and I of course like the wine and pizza…..don’t judge peeps!”
According to ABC 7, Taylor and Simon met years ago when they were waiters at PF Changs and reconnected because they both worked in the mortgage/real estate industries. They had an argument while on a recent family trip to Louisiana.
3. Police Say Simon Removed Taylor From the Christmas Eve Party at Gunpoint Before Murdering Her on the Porch
It was a horrific sequence of events. Authorities say that Simon forced his way into the family Christmas Eve/birthday Party in the Stonegate Subdivision. It was also Taylor’s birthday party.
According to KHOU-TV, the party was taking place in the 16500 block of Obsidian Drive, which is “inside a gated community close to the Houston National Golf Club in northwest Harris County.”
Al Simon forced Taylor to leave the party at gunpoint before shooting her multiple times on the front porch, sheriff’s officials say.
“Albert Benjamin Simon has been charged in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend. He was last seen in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Call @CrimeStopHOU 713-222-TIPS,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote on Twitter. “The victim was celebrating her birthday when Simon showed up and gunned her down.”
Gonzalez added: “There was a small birthday party at a residence- today was the female victim’s birthday. An estranged boyfriend forced his way in, armed, and shot the victim. She died at the scene. Another tragic & horrific murder tied to domestic violence.”
In a short press conference, the sheriff added: “There was a small house gathering going on. They were celebrating the birthday of one of the guests. A male showed up unannounced. He was the ex boyfriend of the female celebrating her birthday today. He forced his way inside, grabbed her, ended up shooting her multiple times.” He said that Simon was on the run, and is in his early 50s. He said there were about 15 people at the party. “It was just a small gathering in the home celebrating Christmas Eve and also the person’s birthday.”
Simon has a criminal history in Harris County for stalking from 1993, and an OWI from 2018, which was dismissed after Simon finished a pretrial intervention program.
According to ABC 13, Simon “is well-known in social circles and served on committees for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”
4. Friends Posted Tributes to Carolee Taylor, Calling Her a ‘Kind Soul’ With a ‘Passion for Life’
“I’m still wrapping my head around this. Just heartbreaking,” Salvador Flores Gill wrote in one of several heartfelt tributes posted to social media by people who knew Taylor.
“Carolee Taylor was a friend of mine who was a beautiful kind soul. My condolences go out to her daughter, family and friends. If you know anything about the whereabouts of this coward. Please don’t hesitate to step forward. His name is Albert Simon. This poor woman’s life was taken on her birthday in front of her loved ones. What a messed up world we live in. I know life can be cruel and not fair, but this is horrific. Godspeed Carolee. Please share, you never know who this may reach. I have 32 mutual friends with this pos. Somebody gotta know something.”
Another woman wrote, “Loved Carolee and her passion for life!” Another added, “I was on the Rodeo committee with her she will be missed.”
5. Carolee Left Behind a Daughter & Called Herself a Family & Sports Loving ‘Mortgage Gal’
“My family tragically woke up this Christmas to the news of my cousin’s Carolee Taylor’s life being taken last night on her birthday,” wrote Jessica Tucker on Facebook.
“She was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who showed up unannounced at her family Christmas party. This disgusting beast (Al Simon) is on the run in the Houston area. *Share so he can be brought to justice. Please storm heaven with prayers for her parents! They now have lost both their children. Their son had passed in a car accident years back. She also has a precious daughter that needs our prayers!”
Another friend wrote, “We love you Carolee Taylor! So many ?s are broken- our girl was taken too soon from this world. Strength & love to her family & friends hurting.”
On Instagram, Carolee called herself:
Family & sports loving,
Muscle car driving,
Crossfitting, bc Tito is one of my best friends,
Insanely Proud Mama!”
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