Once their remains were found in a remote area of Washington state, the search for a missing woman and her 7-year-old daughter came to a tragic end, according to authorities.
On Wednesday, police in Vancouver discovered what they believe to be the bodies of 27-year-old Meshay Melendez and her 7-year-old daughter Layla Stewart based on unique identifying genetic marks, police said in a news release.
The cause of death is unknown, but a report is being prepared by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the police.
Investigators claim that Melendez, Layla, and Melendez’s ex-boyfriend Kirkland Warren spent the night at a friend’s house on March 11 and were last seen driving away in a burgundy Dodge Charger early on March 12.
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After his residence was searched, Warren was taken into custody. According to police, he was accused of assault, drive-by shooting, unlawful possession of a firearm, interfering with a witness, violating domestic violence orders that designated Melendez as a protected person, and violating orders prohibiting domestic violence.
Because Melendez’s family hadn’t heard from her since March 11, police say they went to her Vancouver, Washington, home to check on her wellbeing on March 18. A friend informed police that Melendez and her daughter had not been at home for a few days, but their dog had been barking inside. According to authorities, the house was vacant, save for the dog, when they first arrived.
Detectives discovered that Melendez, Layla, Melendez, and Warren had spent the night at the acquaintance’s house on March 11.
On March 19, Melendez’s mother discovered the car, and police took it. Police claimed that day that they had arrested Warren after executing a search warrant at his residence.
According to authorities, the investigation is still ongoing.
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