The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

November 20, 2012

Man charged in wife's 2002 murder

West Virginia State Police obtained a warrant for a Waynesboro, Va., man for the decade-old murder of his wife, according to Waynesboro Police.

While investigating Thomas Neal Tait, 52, in 2011 on charges of child porn and sexual abuse, police realized Tait’s wife, Karen Santillan Tait, was missing.

Karen legally immigrated to the United States in July 2000 and she had a child about a year later. By piecing together information from friends and her family overseas, police learned Karen’s whereabouts became unknown in 2002.

Thomas Tait told investigators that Karen simply left and he presumed that she had returned to her family in the Philippines, and she had no contact with him or her child since.

In December 2011, Waynesboro Police declared Karen Tait a missing person and she was entered into the National Criminal Information Center and a DNA profile was developing using DNA from her biological child and her parents in the Philippines.

That’s when her profile was linked to unidentified remains found September 2002 in the Greenbrier State Forest. In October this year, the West Virginia Medical Examiner determined that the remains were those of Karen Tait, who would have been 23 at the time of her death.

Thomas Tait was convicted Sept. 26 for 20 counts of possession of child pornography. The child abuse investigation against him is ongoing.

On Friday, Waynesboro Police were informed that the West Virginia State Police obtained a warrant for Tait, who is currently incarcerated at Middle River Regional Jail in Staunton, Va. He has been charged with the murder of his wife.

Even though a warrant has been obtained against Tait for the murder, the investigation is ongoing by both the Waynesboro and State Police.

Anyone who knew Karen or Thomas Tait, especially between 2000 and 2002 while they resided at 908 Fairfax Ave., Apt. #1, in Waynesboro, are asked to contact Cpl. Alyssa Campbell at 540-942-6511 or Crime Stoppers, 800-322-2017.

In addition, officers are trying to locate information concerning a 1990 bluish gray Cadillac Deville bearing Vehicle Identification Number 1G6CD5339L4366432. This vehicle was owned by the Taits during the same time period and is visible in at least one photo of the couple in an unknown wooded area.

Anyone with information is requested to call 540-942-6511 or alternatively they may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322- 2017.      

— E-mail:

Text Only
Local News
  • Human remains found near White Sulphur Springs

    Law enforcement officials are investigating human remains discovered by a local resident near White Sulphur Springs on Friday afternoon, according to Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill.

    April 20, 2014

  • knine Beckley officer and K-9 partner Ciro win award from WVPCA

    They say every dog has his day, but a local pooch and his handler have had about 365 days of success.
    Cpl. Jamie Blume of the Beckley Police Department and his K-9 partner Ciro have won the 2013-2014 Officer and K-9 of the Year award from the WVPCA, according to a press release from the Beckley Police Department.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting at Quality Inn injures one

    A shooting took place at the Quality Inn in Beckley on Friday night, according to Raleigh County dispatchers.

    April 20, 2014

  • Area 911 dispatchers report several fires

    Fire departments from all over Raleigh County and its surrounding areas dealt with fires Friday night, according to dispatchers.

    April 20, 2014

  • High court overturns Raleigh ruling

    An audio recording between a confidential informant and a Beckley attorney accused of selling cocaine will now be allowed into evidence, according to a West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruling.

    April 20, 2014

  • Calendar — Sunday, April 20, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • State agency announces new WIC income guidelines

    The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Nutrition Services has reported new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

    April 20, 2014

  • mthope Good Friday scene

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Service workers want voice in choice in Raleigh County Schools superintendent hiring

    The president of the Raleigh County School Service Personnel Association has asked Raleigh County Board of Education members to choose a school superintendent who will hear the concerns of service workers in the school system and involve them in the decision-making process.

    April 19, 2014

  • Two internal candidates will interview for superintendent position Monday

    Two current administrators at Raleigh County Schools will be interviewed for the position of superintendent Monday, Raleigh Board of Education members verified Friday.
    Raleigh Schools Director of Secondary Education Miller Hall and Raleigh Schools Assistant Superintendent David Price were chosen from a pool of six applicants, BOE members said.

    April 19, 2014