ARKANSAS — An Oklahoma doctor faces charges in Arkansas in the death of a Tahlequah woman.
Arkansas police arrested an Dr. Tyler Tait on Monday on a first-degree murder complaint. Police in Lake Valley, AR responded to a call about a woman in the need of medical assistance just past noon on Monday. They said they found Moria Kinsey lying on the ground outside a car parked alongside US Highway 65. They found Tait near the vehicle.
Crews took Kinsey to the hospital where she later died. Police are still investigating the cause of death. During preliminary investigations, Arkansas state police special agents examined the vehicle they'd been traveling in and said they found evidence of some type of physical altercation.
Tait was a doctor for Cherokee Nation Health Services and Kinsey used to work for the same group. Cherokee Nation released this statement:
“We are devastated and mourning the loss of Moria Kinsey and on behalf of the entire Cherokee Nation, our thoughts and prayers are with Moria’s family and friends during this time. Although not a Cherokee citizen, Moria is a former employee and member of our Cherokee Nation work family, dedicated to helping improve the lives of our citizens. Our traditional Cherokee lifeways teach us to revere our daughters, grandmothers, sisters and mothers and to respect the guidance and wisdom they offer.
Domestic violence is a scourge on our nation as well as Indian Country as a whole and helping victims and prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence is an urgent priority for the Cherokee Nation. In April, a domestic abuse charge against Tait was referred to Cherokee Nation from the state of Oklahoma. That case was under review when this tragic event occurred. The Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation today filed charges and requested he be held without bond. We are also reviewing our internal policies to strengthen our abilities to better address domestic violence complaints.
We encourage our Tahlequah community, and work family to uplift the Kinsey family during this time. You can offer your support by attending a community-organized prayer vigil at Norris Park on Thursday evening. We know Moria had so much to give and will be truly missed.” – Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
Moria Kinsey was a daughter, friend, and nurse. Those who knew her were devastated by the tragedy.
“I’d seen Moria’s Kinsey’s name in the article and I had to do a double take because, I said, surely that’s not the only Moria and I was hoping and praying it wasn’t the one I knew and sure enough, it was I sat in my truck all night there and I prayed and wept and it was unreal,” Walkingstick, Moria's friend said.
David Walkings was shocked to learn about Moria's death.
“Her presence is going to be missed every time we go into the hospital and just here in our community,” Walkingstick said.
Walkingstick had known Moria for about 12 years. They met when she worked at a local Auto Zone.
“Through her tenure she worked her way into the Auto Zone and worked her way into the medical field,” Walkingstick said.
She formerly worked as a Nurse at W.W. Hastings Hospital.
According to Cherokee Nation Communication, Kinsey was a former employer of of Cherokee Nation Healthcare Services.
Today Walkingstick is remembering her bright spirit.
“She just was very charismatic. In whatever room she was in she just demanded attention because she was so outgoing. She just knew how to light up the world,” Walkingstick said.
Throughout her life she wore mulitple hats.
Her friends said in whatever role she was in she shined, particularly at being a mother.
HER FRIENDS SAY SHE SHINED IN EACH ROLE, PARTICULARLY AT BEING A MOTHER.
“I know she was that way with her son at home as well. She gave 110 percent with her friends, her family, her community and everything,” Walkingstick said.
Another echoing Walkingstick's description of her.
Saying in part, "She was a dedicated and amazing mother. An amazing nurse with a brilliant mind a compassionate heart. Her authenticity was something she simply couldn't deny. She was quircky, always smiling, adventurous girl with a heart of gold. I cannot epxress to you how much her son meant to her."
Thursday evening a candlelight vigil will be held in her honor at Norris Part at 8:30 p.m.
This is a developing story. We'll continue to update as we learn more.
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