Tanya E. Taras

Taras, circa 2000; Antone Wilson in 2003

  • Missing Since 06/06/2000
  • Missing From Palmyra, Pennsylvania
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 35 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'7 - 5'10, 160 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A horizontally striped shirt, pants, and open-toed shoes or sandals.
  • Medical Conditions Taras is an alcoholic.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Taras has scars on her left arm and knee. Her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Taras was last seen in Palmyra, Pennsylvania on June 6, 2000. That day was the preliminary hearing for a drunk driving charge she was facing. She waived the hearing and went home to her apartment in the 600 block of west North Avenue, where she lived alone.

She had a lunch date with a friend that day, but never showed up for it. She has never been heard from again. On June 9, her landlord called the police after one of Taras's friends said no one had been able to get in touch with her and the entry door to her apartment had been damaged; a pane of glass was broken.

Inside the apartment, Taras's answering machine had 28 messages from friends and her employer asking about her. Her two pet cats had been left unattended and without food or water. Her dog, a white Lhasa Apso named Roo, was missing. There was blood on a pair of Taras's glasses and on the upholstery and carpeting in the living room and kitchen.

Three days later, her red 1999 Mercury Cougar was found near the 30th Street train station in southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The keys were inside it and the windows were rolled down. There was fabric and padding missing from the passenger seat. Drops of Taras's blood were on the passenger side door and floorboard, and a cadaver dog indicated the presence of human remains.

Prior to her disappearance, Antone Herman Wilson had been Taras's counselor at White Deer Run, a drug and alcohol treatment center. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.

The day before her disappearance, Taras had told her former addiction counselor that Wilson had come to her apartment a day earlier after she called him "to help her with her problems," and that they had had sex. She made a similar statement to her brother.

Taras's former counselor reported what she'd said to White Deer Run. As a result, at 10:00 a.m. on the day of Taras's disappearance, Wilson was suspended from his job pending the outcome of a review board. He was later fired; sexual contact between counselors and clients was against both White Deer Run's employment regulations, and the professional code of ethics.

Wilson is known to have made several calls to Taras's home, including one just fifteen minutes after he was informed of his suspension from work. At 11:06 a.m., he bought a rasp and a file from a store in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. At 2:42 p.m., he bought a nail puller from a store in Hershey, Pennsylvania. A receipt for some of these items was later found under the seat of Taras's car when it was located in Pennsylvania.

At 6:28 p.m., Wilson withdrew $100 from an ATM at a bank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania bank that day. Security footage from the bank showed him driving Taras's car, and showed the car had an unidentified object in the passenger seat, covered with a stained blanket. A forensic video expert identified Taras's vehicle based on the dents and scrapes on it, and one of Taras's friends identified the blanket in the video as one Taras owned.

In June 2003, Wilson was charged with homicide, retaliation against a victim, theft and evidence tampering in Taras's case. Investigators believe he killed her over her allegations about their sexual contact, in order to silence her.

In April 2004, Wilson took a plea bargain, pleading guilty to third-degree murder and the other related charges, in exchange for a sentence of nineteen to fifty years in prison. The prosecution had been seeking the death penalty against him. He will be in his seventies by the time he is eligible for release.

Taras worked at a nail salon in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the time of her presumed murder. Authorities stated her remains cannot be recovered. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Lebanon County Detective Bureau 717-228-4403

Source Information

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 20, 2019; casefile added.