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UPDATE: Man accused of killing UNLV student turned in by mom

Posted at 1:56 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-17 02:52:08-04

UPDATE JUNE 16, 11:49 PM: Family, friends and classmates said a final farewell to a student they call an inspiration.

Clifton Taylor, a computer engineering student, was stabbed to death inside his apartment near Maryland Parkway late last month.

Joanna Jezierska, Taylor’s faculty advisor who considered him a son, presented flowers to his grieving mom.

Police accused Taylor’s roommate, Zachary Drey, of repeatedly stabbing Clifton and leaving him inside their apartment to die.

Charles Bynum, one of Taylor’s closest friends, shaken when he heard someone murdered his good friend. “My legs trembled,” Bynum said. “I consider him a brother. It’s just so heartbreaking.”

The murder was especially savage. According to the arrest warrant police say drey tried to decapitate Clifton.

“Demonic, very demonic. To pass like that, it’s terrible,” Bynum said.Everyone who knew Clifton called him a driven student and a leader with a bright future. Darius Jackson couldn’t understand how anyone could commit such a brutal act against his friend. “It’s been pretty rough, just knowing that he was there at one point. And now he’s no longer with us,” Jackson said. “Seeing that everything was going accordingly and something sudden happens like this, you just don’t expect it.”

Drey is behind bars in California, awaiting extradition to Las Vegas.


UPDATE JUNE 16: The man who is accused of killing UNLV student Clifton Taylor was turned in by his mother.



According to the arrest report for Zachary Drey, he confessed the murder to his mother after she went to his apartment to give Drey's brother a driving lesson. Drey reportedly told his mother that he tried to cut off his roommate's head and dispose of the body.

She tried to convince him to turn himself in, but he refused. When she arrived home, she called the police.

A police officer called Drey and told him what his mother said. Drey told the officer that he was not Zachary Drey and fled the apartment.

Upon arrival, police officers discovered Clifton Taylor in a bathroom tub with multiple stab wounds. There was also evidence that the murderer attempted to conceal the crime by dismembering the body and cleaning the scene with bleach.

A motive for the murder was not revealed in the police report.

UPDATE JUNE 14: Friends are struggling to understand why anyone would want to kill UNLV student Clifton Taylor.

“It didn't make sense,” said Xavier Morgan-Lange, a sophomore, who called Taylor his friend and mentor. "The world lost a really talented individual who had a lot going for him."

Taylor, 25, was murdered late last month inside his apartment near Maryland Parkway. Police accused his roommate Zachary Drey.

Taylor was a computer engineering student and the former chapter president of the National Society of Black Engineers, the same post Morgan-Lange now holds.

"It's a huge loss. He honestly served as my inspiration," Morgan-Lange said.

Morgan-Lange called Taylor a role model, who worked two jobs yet maintained high grades and even had a job waiting for him after graduation at aerospace firm Northrop-Grumman.

"He definitely stood out above the rest," Morgan-Lange said, noting that Taylor was the student everyone else looked up to. “So many of us talk about how we want to do these things and what we're trying to do. But he actually did them."

Joanna Jezierska, the director of multicultural programs for stem and health sciences at UNLV, is the faculty advisor to the national society of black engineers. Jezierska called Taylor "fantastic, one of the best students I've met in my life." 

Jezierska said her heart sunk when she learned the horrifying news.

"My heart was ripped out of my chest. I felt like I lost my son," Jezierska said.

She and Morgan-Lange said Taylor was a friendly, polite and humble young go-getter, bursting with a world of promise, potential he'll never get to fulfill.

"I'm more than certain was going to give the world back everything that helped make him who he was," Morgan-Lange said.

Taylor's friends will hold a memorial for him at UNLV at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

UPDATE JUNE 13: Zachary Drey has been arrested in Riverside, California, Las Vegas police confirmed Tuesday.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, he was arrested by California Highway Patrol on June 9 as a fugitive from justice.

UPDATE JUNE 2: The coroner identified the man killed as 25-year-old Clifton Taylor of Las Vegas. He died of multiple stab wounds.

UPDATE JUNE 1: Neighbors are struggling to make sense of a grisly murder at their apartment complex. Zachary Drey is accused of stabbing and killing his roommate. People who live nearby say their community is usually quiet. 

“It's pretty crazy," said Ilia Maisuradze, a neighbor. “It's kind of disturbing because it's so close to me."

Tom Johnson lives across the walkway from where the stabbing took place. He says he never worried about his safety around his neighborhood until now.

“Today I had somebody knock at the door,” Johnson said. “I didn't even look out the door to see who it was."


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Las Vegas police are seeking a man suspected in an early Wednesday morning homicide.

At approximately 2:45 a.m., patrol officers were called to investigate a suspicious situation near Maryland Parkway and Twain Avenue. A woman called the Dispatch Center and reported a family member may have injured his roommate.

Officers were able to meet with the caller and attempted to identify an address where the family member was reported to live.

The family member was identified as 25-year-old Zachary Drey, and the preliminary investigation indicated Drey lived at an apartment complex located in the 3800 block of South Maryland Parkway. Arriving officers found a partially opened door, announced their presence, and made entry to conduct a welfare check. The officers discovered a man inside of the apartment deceased from apparent stab wounds.

Drey is not in custody but should be considered armed and dangerous. Drey is described as a white male who stands approximately 6 feet tall and weighs between 150-160 pounds. He has red hair and green eyes.

Still photos of Drey at a fast food restaurant near Maryland Parkway and Katie Avenue were taken Wednesday.

Anyone with any information on his whereabouts should not approach but immediately call 911.