Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Police say the bodies believed to be that of a Washington woman and her daughter were found in a rural area near Washougal on Wednesday, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

27-year-old Meshay Melendez and her 7-year-old daughter Layla Stewart were last seen on March 12.

Police believe based on identifying genetic marks, they are the bodies of Melendez and Stewart.

The medical examiner will determine their identities and official cause of death.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said around 9:40 a.m. someone walking their dog saw something in thick brush just off Southeast Sunset View Road near Wooding Road. Deputies discovered the two bodies.

“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 Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Chris Skidmore from the parking lot of the offices of the Washougal School District, less than a mile from where the bodies were found. “There’s only just a couple private property driveway turnouts that’s up there, so it’s a ways up the road. From the road, it goes down into a little creek area, and so that’s kind of the area that they found, discovered the bodies.”

Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Investigation team is now in Washougal processing evidenced.

Police say Melendez’s former boyfriend, Kirkland Warren, is a person of interest in the case.

On March 2, Warren was charged in a drive-by shooting, assault with a firearm, felony harassment and possession of a stolen firearm.

Police said he fired at Melendez’s apartment.

According to new court documents, Warren was issued a no-contact order protecting Melendez, which police said he violated less than two hours later. He called her from jail.

He was then released on bail March 8.

On Sunday, March 19, Warren was arrested again for unlawful possession of a firearm, violating a protection order, and tampering with a witness.

The last person believed to have seen Melendez and Stewart is a friend who, according to police reports, called 911 on the morning of March 12 after noticing Melendez unresponsive and partially clothed in the passenger seat of Warren’s car.

Warren then picked Stewart up from her house and drove away with the mother and daughter.

Melendez’s car was later found near her home a week later.

Police said Warren had Melendez’s phone in his possession when he was arrested Tuesday.

Warren is currently being held at the Clark County Jail on a $1 million bond.

He is also currently charged with committing a 2017 murder in Jefferson County, Arkansas. On Friday, a judge there revoked Warren’s bond.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |