ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Police have arrested Anthony Taylor, 36, and charged him the murder of Orlando Perez, who was found dead outside a condemned home in April of 2021.
Police say they were called to the 1300 block of Arthur Avenue around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 4th, 2021, for the report of a dead man lying outside of a condemned residence.
Officers located a man in his late 20’s laying in the yard next to the house. Police said Perez had wounds to his head and neck area, according to court records.
Taylor was developed as the suspect in the case after he spoke with officers at the scene, telling them he went outside a house on Furman Street to smoke and found the man lying on the ground. He told officers at the time that he thought the man was sleeping, and went back inside his house.
When they further spoke with Taylor, officers reported seeing blood visible on his head. When asked about it, Taylor reportedly said he practiced tae-kwon-do, and said it was probably from that.
Twelve days later, police said they received a call from a man who said they wanted to turn himself in for the murder but refused to give his name. The caller asked officers to come and pick him up at the Central Park Tap, 3523 Auburn St, but when police arrived no one was there. When police called the number back, a woman answered saying Taylor had just used her phone.
Taylor’s DNA was later found on the dead man’s body. An autopsy later revealed Perez died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Taylor was arrested Monday, January 17th, 2022 at home on Furman Street. Taylor was also wanted on a warrant for retail theft.
Taylor was charged with First Degree Murder and booked into the Winnebago County Jail.