Man arrested in Austin in connection with case involving two missing Houstonians

HOUSTON – Travis County prosecutors in Austin have arrested a man on charges related to a case of two Houston friends who have been missing since 2016. For nearly three years, the victims' families have waited for any answers as the bodies of their loved ones have yet to be found.

Mary Ware and her family have been searching for answers. Ware's son, Sidney James Taylor, went missing in April 2016. He would have turned 38 this week.

"I miss my son every day. I miss him with all my heart ... with everything that I have," Ware said. "He was a very energetic happy person. Helps people. He was a good son, a very good father."

Taylor and his friend Krislyn Gibson disappeared in April 2016 when the two set out to go to the Urban Music Festival in Austin. They were supposed to stay with another friend but never showed up. Taylor's family isn't giving up on finding clues to his whereabouts. 


"We won't sleep. We know that someone somewhere saw something and we just ask the least little thing come forward," Leandra Penrice, Taylor's aunt, said. "He was a sweetheart."

Surveillance video showed the last person they were with was 52-year-old Harvey Lester Cyphers, the man who was arrested Wednesday. A potential break in the case in Austin, nearly three years later, came after investigators discovered evidence. Cyphers, who had spent two years in jail for a weapons charge, was released last month. Now Cyphers has been charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence. Officials in Austin said the charges are related to the case of Taylor and Gibson.

"I am very pleased with the work that they have done. They are getting answers," Ware said.

Travis County prosecutors said Cyphers tried to conceal a body to hide it from police. He's also accused of using a bath mat, shower liner, curtain and towels to hide a body. Detectives found more evidence from a neighbor's surveillance cameras. 

While there are many questions as to what happened to Gibson and Taylor, Taylor's parents said the fight for answers isn't over. His family wears T-shirts showing Taylor and encouraging anyone with answers to call the police.

"This man doesn't know what he's done but he could make it better if he could just tell us where my son is at," Ware said. 

Cyphers is being held in Austin on a $100,000 bond.