Police say that the bodies of a Vancouver woman and her daughter were found in a rural area near Washougal on Wednesday. The Vancouver Police Department says that the bodies are likely those of the woman and her daughter.
Meshay Melendez, who is 27 years old, and her daughter Layla Stewart, who is 8 years old, were last seen on March 12.
The police think that they are the bodies of Melendez and Stewart based on the genetic marks they found.
The medical examiner will find out who they are and what caused their deaths.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said that at 9:40 a.m., someone walking their dog near Southeast Sunset View Road and Wooding Road saw something in thick brush. The two bodies were found by deputies.
“It’s what we call a primitive road, so it’s like a single lane, which is why we’re down here and not up there,” said Sgt. Chris Skidmore, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, from the parking lot of the Washougal School District offices, which is less than a mile from where the bodies were found. “There are only a few private driveway turnouts up there, so it is a long way up the road. From the road, you can get to a small rill area, which is where the bodies were found.”
Kirkland Warren, who used to be Melendez’s boyfriend, is a person of interest in the case, according to the police.
Warren was charged on March 2 with a drive-by shooting, assault with a gun, felony harassment, and having a stolen gun.
Police said he shot at Melendez’s apartment.
New court documents say that Warren was given an order to stay away from Melendez, which he broke less than two hours later, according to the police. From jail, he called her.
Then, on March 8, he was let out on bail.
Warren was arrested again on March 19 for illegally having a gun, breaking a protection order, and tampering with a witness.
Melendez and Stewart’s last known sighting was by a friend who, according to police reports, called 911 on March 12 after finding Melendez unresponsive and partially dressed in the passenger seat of Warren’s car.
Then, Warren went to Stewart’s house and picked her up. He drove the mother and daughter away.
After a week, Melendez’s car was found near her house.
When Warren was arrested on Tuesday, police said that he had Melendez’s phone with him.
Warren is being kept in the Clark County Jail right now.
The team from the Washington State Patrol that looks into crimes is now in Washougal processing evidence.