Missing Halifax man may have been murdered over drug deal: Police

WATCH ABOVE: Police have charged William Sandeson, 22, with the murder of Taylor Samson. Court documents obtained by Global News show police believe Samson was selling marijuana the night he disappeared. Julia Wong reports.

HALIFAX – Court documents obtained by Global News show police believe Taylor Samson was selling marijuana the night he disappeared.

Samson was last seen in the 6000-block of South Street on Saturday night. Family members previously told Global News the 22-year-old Dalhousie student had told friends he was stepping out for a minute and would be right back. That was the last time he was seen.

Samson went missing Saturday night.
Samson went missing Saturday night. Contributed/HRP

On Thursday, Halifax Regional Police announced 22-year-old William Sandeson had been arrested and charged with first degree murder. He was arrested on Leaman Drive in Dartmouth on Tuesday night. Court records show his address as 1210 Henry Street, where investigators believe Samson was killed. Police conducted a search of that address on Wednesday.

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Sandeson appeared in court Thursday morning. His case was put over until September 2 and he will be remanded in custody. Dalhousie University confirmed both Samson and Sandeson were students at the university. Spokesperson Janet Bryson said Sandeson was slated to start medical school on Monday.

Global News obtained an Information to Obtain a Search Warrant for 6093 South Street, the location of Samson’s fraternity. It was issued Tuesday morning. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The documents state police said they had reasonable grounds to believe that there was marijuana in the fraternity house and they believed it was related to the missing persons case of Samson.

It shows police believe friends were aware Samson sold marijuana for extra cash while in school and that on Saturday night, Samson left with a black duffle bag believed to be carrying marijuana. He only took his cell phone and left behind his wallet and car.

The documents show police indicate a friend believed Samson was uneasy about the deal he was going to make Saturday night.

“Samson seemed nervous about it since it was 4 pounds, a larger amount of marijuana than usual,” the document reads.

“Samson did not know this new ‘client’ as he was introduced through a regular client of Samson’s…making him very nervous.”

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The documents indicate police believe Samson had asked several friends to go with him that night to make the deal but no one was able to. He ultimately went alone.

“With Samson meeting a new ‘client’ close to his residence and not returning when expected, the investigation have developed to believe that Samson was a victim of a ‘drug rip’ and those who did so have taken him to obtain more money or information he may have related to the drug trade, his supplier and further location where drugs being held,” wrote Detective Constable Kenneth Todd Blake of Halifax Regional Police in the Information to Obtain a Search Warrant.

Police said Samson’s body has not been recovered.

Shift in the investigation

Acting Inspector Tom Townsend with HRP/RCMP Integrated Criminal Investigations Division said the case shifted from a missing persons case to a homicide file early on.

“Monday afternoon in particular, investigators began to realize there very well may be some suspicious activity and criminal involvement in relation to this disappearance,” he said but declined to elaborate.

Despite the lack of a body, Townsend said police are confident in the first degree murder charge.

“We are comfortable with the fact that the investigation, once it goes through the court process, will show how in fact our victim, Mr. Samson, was murdered, where he was murdered at and the manner that that took place,” he said.

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Townsend declined to elaborate on how Samson died or whether a murder weapon has been recovered. He also could not comment on whether Samson was forced or voluntarily went to the Henry Street address.

He said investigators are now focusing on locating Samson’s body.

“Every effort is going to be made to locate Mr. Samson’s body, both for his family and for the investigation itself,” he said.

Townsend would not comment when asked whether police are seeking more suspects.

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