A missing Vancouver woman and her 7-year-old daughter Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart were found dead in a rural area. Let’s see more details about this case in the following text.
What happened to Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart?
The Vancouver Police Department says the bodies of a missing mother and daughter have been found in a rural area on Wednesday. The bodies happened to be those of a missing Vancouver woman and her 7-year-old daughter in a rural area east of Washougal.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded at about 9:40 a.m. to a report of suspicious circumstances. A man walking his dog reported finding what he thought were two “life-sized mannequins” down an embankment in the thick brush off Southeast Wooding Road near Sunset View Road, according to the agency.
The police department tentatively identified the bodies as those of Meshay “Karmen” Melendez, 27, and her daughter, Layla Stewart.
Cause of Death
Families members were notified, according to Vancouver police. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office will release their cause and manner of death. The sheriff’s office’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating the scene where they were found, which Skidmore said is considered a homicide investigation.
“The family is grateful for all the community support, and we ask that people respect the privacy of the family while they process and grieve,” according to a statement from the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation, sent on behalf of Melendez and Layla’s family.
Where were the Mother and her daughter last seen?
The mother and daughter Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart were last seen the morning of March 12 with Melendez’s former boyfriend, Kirkland C. Warren, according to investigators. Melendez’s mother reported the pair missing Saturday after she couldn’t reach them for their regular video chat session.
Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said the department considers the missing person case closed, calling it “a very tragic resolution.” Kapp was unsure Wednesday evening if Warren, 28, is a suspect in their deaths or if investigators have identified other persons of interest. On Tuesday, police had named Warren a person of interest in their disappearances.
“Today is a very dark day. It’s never easy to get this kind of news, and our heart goes out to the family. But let me make one thing clear, as hard as we all fight as advocates and nonprofits against violence things like this do not need to happen,” said Michelle Bart, president and co-founder of NWCAVE.
Missing person investigation
At around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, Vancouver police checked on Melendez and her daughter’s welfare at Springfield Meadows Apartments, 4317 N.E. 66th Ave., after hearing from family members that they hadn’t heard from them since March 11. According to a police news release, a friend informed the family that the couple hadn’t been home for several days and that their dog was inside the apartment barking.
Police claimed that when a family member allowed them entry, they discovered only the dog living in Melendez’s apartment. Melendez, Stewart, and Warren spent the night of March 11 at a friend’s residence, according to information obtained by police. According to the news release, they were observed departing in a burgundy Dodge Charger on March 12 at 6 a.m.
On Sunday, Melendez’s mother found her daughter’s car, a Chrysler 200, in the 7800 block of Northeast Loowit Loop in the VanMall neighborhood. Police seized her car as evidence, the department said.
Also on Sunday, police served a search warrant at Warren’s residence in the 3700 block of Northeast 109th Avenue in Vancouver’s Kevanna Park neighborhood, the department said. Officers arrested Warren on suspicion of tampering with a witness, unlawful possession of a firearm, and violating a no-contact order with Melendez.
Accused of Domestic violence case
On December 13, Warren was initially charged with opening fire at Melendez’s residence in the Minnehaha area. He was told not to speak to Melendez during his initial first court appearance on March 3 in Clark County Superior Court.
At that hearing, the prosecution said that an evaluation of risk determined that Warren presents a “severe risk” to Melendez, scoring 31 on a scale of 1 to 18. He has already been charged with two counts of fourth-degree assault, a drive-by gunshot, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, gross misdemeanor harassment with bodily injury, and a number of other domestic violence-related offenses.
Warren is also accused of making a false statement in relation to a weapons application. He has entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations. Moreover, Warren is still facing charges in Arkansas for a homicide that occurred in 2017. On December 13, 2017, the day after his arrest, according to court documents, he paid a $250,000 bond in that case. According to court records, a judge in Arkansas revoked Warren’s release on Monday.
On account of a warrant in the Arkansas case, Warren was back in Superior Court on Wednesday. He acknowledged, via Marquise Cloutier, his defense counsel, that he is the person sought in Arkansas, but he refused to waive extradition so that he could avoid being handed over to those authorities. Prosecutors will present a governor’s warrant for his extradition on April 21 at a review hearing, which is planned for that day.
In the meantime, Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis ordered Warren to be held without bail on the warrant. Warren was being held on $1 million bail in the drive-by shooting case and subject to electronic monitoring if released; those restrictions were ordered Tuesday.
As per the Reports
Police believe Warren was the last person Melendez and Layla were with before they disappeared.
Warren was cited in Clark County District Court for violating the Domestic violence protection order by calling Melendez Twice from the Clark County Jail. The charge was later added to his supreme court case.
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