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Arrest made in murder of Pontiac mother of three

NEED TO KNOW
  • Rosaline Ransom-Lee was found dead in a lake on May 26
  • Bobby Lee Taylor, 42, has been charged with murder and sexual assault in the case
  • Taylor has also been charged in an unrelated attempted sexual assault in September 2012

Star Jones, Nancy Grace hunt for young mom’s killer

Mom's murder sparks Star Jones’ ‘Rhonda’s Rules’

Authorities announced Thursday that a suspect has been charged in the murder of Michigan mother Rosaline “Rhonda” Ransom-Lee.

Ransom-Lee, 32, was found dead in a Pontiac lake on May 26. Police said at the time that she had been strangled and possibly sexually assaulted.

42-year-old Bobby Lee Taylor appeared in court Thursday for arraignment on charges of sexual assault and murder in connection with Ransom-Lee’s death. He is being held without bond.

Ransom-Lee -- a mother of two boys and a 9-month-old girl -- was last seen alive around 3 a.m. on May 26 when she left her mother’s house about a mile from the lake.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said Taylor had been arrested for a parole violation on June 5 after he was questioned by detectives.

A sheriff’s office press release stated that DNA evidence collected during Ransom-Lee’s autopsy confirmed Taylor’s involvement. Additional evidence has since been collected and authorities believe Taylor acted alone.

Richelle Ransom, Ransom-Lee’s sister, told HLN that the family does not know Taylor.

Taylor has also been charged in an unrelated Sept. 15, 2012 attempted assault. According to the sheriff’s office, in that incident, Taylor allegedly entered a home, tried to sexually assault a sleeping female and fled when the victim woke up and fought back.

In that case, Taylor is charged with first degree home invasion, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and larceny.

Taylor was released from prison in May 2012 and was on parole through May 2014. His criminal history includes convictions for possession of stolen property, drugs, aggravated assault and escape from prison, according to the sheriff’s office.

Taylor requested a public defender at Thursday’s arraignment, but one had not been appointed yet on Friday morning.

“I am extremely proud of our team, including the investigators and our crime lab professionals -- this was great old fashion[ed] police work merged with current high tech capabilities,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement about Taylor’s arrest. “Unrelated stranger attacks in both of the charged cases are unusual but also often difficult to solve.”

Star Jones -- a close friend of Ransom-Lee’s sister -- appeared on "Nancy Grace" earlier this month to call attention to the case.

Ransom-Lee’s death also spurred Jones to create “Rhonda’s Rules,” a checklist of steps women can take professionally, personally and financially to prepare themselves and their families for an unexpected death.

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