New information released in missing Houston couple case

The Austin Police Department released new information in a case where two adults from Houston went missing while visiting Austin.

Kristlyn Gibson and Sidney Taylor, both 35 years old, disappeared from Austin while in town to attend the Urban Music Festival back on April 2nd. The two were staying with a friend in Austin. They went to a concert Friday night, then to a club after that, and no one has heard from them since.

Police have identified a suspect, Harvey Cyphers, who they believe is somehow related to their disappearance.

Cyphers is currently in Federal custody on a firearms charge.

Read the full press release below...

On April 3, 2016, the Austin Police Department responded to a call concerning two missing adults that traveled from Houston to Austin to attend the Urban Music Festival the weekend of April 2, 2016. The two individuals have been identified as Sidney Taylor, Black male, 35 years of age and Krislyn Gibson, Black female, 35 years of age.

Taylor and Gibson arrived in Austin on the evening of April 1, 2016 and left their belongings at a friend’s house, where they had planned to stay for the weekend. Shortly after arriving, the pair left the house for the evening in Taylor’s 2010 black Dodge Charger. After their arrival, Taylor contacted an acquaintance, 50 year old Harvey “Hootie” Cyphers, Black male, whom he has known for many years. Taylor, Gibson, and Cyphers met and went to the Landing Strip Club in Austin where they were seen on video entering the club together. The trio stayed at the club until closing, where the three were seen leaving together at 2 a.m. The friend they were staying with in Austin called Taylor just after 3 a.m. and spoke to him on the phone. Taylor mentioned that he was with Cyphers. This is the last contact that anyone had with Taylor or Gibson. The friend tried texting Taylor into the early morning hours of Saturday, April 2, 2016 without receiving a response. Taylor and Gibson never returned to his residence, where they had left their belongings and were supposed to spend the night. The friend became concerned as the day of April 2, 2016 continued on and he could not locate his friends. He began to reach out to his circle of friends, none of whom had heard from Gibson or Taylor. On Sunday, April 3, 2016, the friend called APD to report the couple as missing.

APD began investigating this as a Missing Persons case on April 4, 2016. On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, APD was notified by the Houston Police Department Homicide Unit that Sidney’s 2010 Dodge Charger had been located in the 2400 block of Milam Street in Houston, where it was abandoned and towed for parking violations.

Houston Police advised the vehicle contained personal effects of Gibson and Taylor that people don’t normally leave behind, and there was potentially blood and biological evidence in the car.

Gibson and Taylor both have small children at home, and are both steadily employed. Friends and family say that neither Gibson nor Taylor would abandon their families and jobs. After continuing the investigation and gathering additional information and evidence, APD believes that foul play is involved and that their disappearance is criminal in nature. Austin Homicide Cold Case Detectives and HPD have conducted parallel investigations and have maintained frequent communication in this case.

As Harvey Cyphers was the last person to see Gibson and Taylor, he was asked to come in to speak with APD Detectives. Cyphers provided a timeline of his whereabouts for the time span in question. Our investigation has revealed that Cyphers was untruthful as to his whereabouts. Cyphers acknowledged having several firearms and as a previously convicted felon is not allowed to possess firearms under federal law. APD Detectives worked with our federal partners to procure a search warrant for Cyphers’ property and recovered the firearms that Cyphers had admitted to owning. Cyphers is currently in federal custody on these firearms charges and is awaiting trial.

When inconsistencies in Cyphers’ story became apparent, APD obtained a search warrant for his residence at 6808 Montana St. in Austin. Detectives from APD, the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers and technicians from the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab spent over 20 hours processing Cyphers’ residence. During that search, blood and other evidence was discovered, leading investigators to believe that an act of violence had occurred at that location and that the crime scene had been cleaned up. To date, 11 search warrants have been obtained and served by APD Detectives and the Texas Rangers in this case. All physical evidence in this case is currently being processed by the DPS Crime Lab.

Information obtained by search warrants for cell phone records indicate that phones of Gibson, Taylor and Cyphers were all at Cyphers’ residence through the early morning hours of April 2, 2016. Later that morning, all three cell phones traveled together to Houston, where a call from Cyphers’ phone was placed to Megabus, a commercial bus line.

Calls made from Cyphers’ phone place him in the vicinity of where Taylor’s car was recovered in the 2400 block of Milam in Houston. This location is within walking distance of the Megabus pickup location. Cyphers’ phone then travels along the route that Megabus uses for its Houston to Austin leg.

This is an active and ongoing investigation. The collaborative efforts of the Austin Police Department, the Texas Rangers, the Houston Police Department, and several federal agencies have yielded significant progress in this case.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have seen Harvey Cyphers or Taylor's 2010 Dodge Charger in the Houston area on April 2, 2016, may have ridden the Megabus with Cyphers from Houston to Austin, or anyone with other related information to call the APD Homicide Cold Case/Missing Persons Unit at 512-974-5250 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text "Tip 103" + your message to CRIMES.

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