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Originally published Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM

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Mother: Slain couple loved grandson ‘more than life’

Melanie Taylor, whose son was arrested this week in connection with killing her parents, speaks out Thursday in a statement released by the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Despite Michael Chadd Boysen’s troubled history that spiraled from lying to drug abuse to prison, his grandparents supported him and loved him “more than life,” according to his mother.

“When it came to Chadd, they saw the good in him and were forgiving of his choices,” Melanie Taylor said in a statement released Thursday by the King County Sheriff’s Office. “They were warrior spirits fighting for a cause and that cause was Chadd.”

The unconditional support Taylor’s parents, Robert and Norma Taylor, offered their grandson was evident last Friday when they picked him up from a Monroe prison, spent six hours driving him to errands, which included taking him to meet his probation officer, and then
hosted a “welcome-home” party at their Renton-area home.

“Chadd was upbeat and talked about the wonderful day he had with his grandparents,” said Taylor, who also attended the party.

It was sometime after that party that Boysen, 26, strangled his grandparents and stole their car, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

On Saturday, Melanie Taylor discovered the bodies of her 82-year-old father and 80-year-old mother inside their home in the 16200 block of 145th Avenue Southeast. A law-enforcement source said Thursday that detectives are still trying to establish a clear motive for the slayings.

The slayings sparked a multistate manhunt that ended Tuesday when Boysen was arrested at a Lincoln City, Ore., motel after a nearly 10-hour standoff with police. He is recovering from what authorities are calling “self-inflicted” injuries in a Portland hospital, where he is listed in serious condition.

The Washington Department of Corrections is working on having him extradited as soon as possible.

Taylor, in a lengthy interview with sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West, declined to address the investigation, other than to say, “as stressed out as I am I have grand support from the
police.”

Taylor said she and her former husband adopted Boysen when he was a baby. She said they have no records of his biological parents or his medical history.

Early on, Taylor’s parents developed a close bond with their grandson, and were “like second parents,” she said.

Boysen was a good student growing up, and even participated in Running Start classes at a local college, his mother said. But at some point in his teens, he developed what she termed “addictive behavior.”

He had drug problems and lied to his family, Taylor said. When he was in his late teens, he pleaded guilty to a series of robberies in 2006 and spent five years in
prison.

Despite his problems, Boysen’s grandparents always saw the best in him, she said. Taylor and her parents visited him in prison every other week. It was during these visits, she said, that her son became more “rough,” something she felt he needed to do to survive in prison.

Toward the end of Boysen’s five-year prison sentence his mother told him that she would not visit him if he was incarcerated again.

But after his release his problems resurfaced. He began using drugs after two operations to treat a back injury from playing soccer, according to his mother’s statement.

Boysen went back to prison for nine months of a 16-month sentence for a 2012 attempted residential-burglary conviction.

Taylor, employing what she called “tough love,” didn’t visit her son during his nine-month term. However, she sent care packages and letters to let him know “she still loved him but did not agree with his choices,” the statement said.

Boysen’s family made arrangements to have him undergo a six-month
substance-abuse-treatment program run by The Salvation Army after his release last Friday. He told his grandparents he was excited to be out of prison and start the program, according to the statement.

Bob and Norma Taylor celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on March 5, just days before Boysen’s release. They talked about dressing up and going to Bob’s favorite restaurant, Red Lobster, but when Norma wanted to do something more low key they decided to get some KFC and stay home with their dog, Princess.

The couple were loving, giving and deeply family-oriented, their daughter said.

Norma Taylor spent 25 years working at a bank; her husband was the co-owner of a cabinetry business. Each Christmas, Bob Taylor would create crafts for friends and family in his wood shop behind their home.

They were planning on giving out wooden reindeer this Christmas, she said.

Melanie Taylor compared her parents to “soldiers” because they “gave their lives” for their grandson.

“If they were given a choice to die and save others they would,” she said. Taylor suspects that other lives were saved because of her parents’ deaths.

As difficult as it is, she said she is “glad they are together.”

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

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