COLLIN COUNTY, Texas (TCD) -- A 32-year-old man who was initially arrested on suspicion of kidnapping is now charged with murder after his missing girlfriend's body was reportedly found buried near his home.
Kayla Kelly, 33, was reported missing to the Collin County Sheriff's Office Jan. 11 after her friends and family had not seen her for several days. Investigators reportedly later located her car abandoned in a remote area of Frisco. Deputies identified Ocastor Ferguson, who also used the name Kevin Brown, as a person of interest and took him into custody Jan. 14.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Kelly was dating a man named Kevin, but she recently learned he was married. She allegedly informed some friends she wanted to blackmail him, but her friends and family "advised Kelly they did not want to talk to her about dating a married man."
One day after she was reported missing, Frisco Police called the Collin County Sheriff's Office to say officers found her vehicle "burned beyond recognition and the incident was not consistent with a natural fire."
Investigators went to Kelly's duplex and did not see her there, but found her dog who had been left alone for several days. People close to Kelly said the dog "was like Kelly's child and she would never leave it unattended for an extended period of time."
While looking through Kelly's phone records, detectives saw she had been communicating with Ferguson. According to the affidavit, Ferguson's wife reported their Lexus was stolen, and investigators found the vehicle at Kelly's duplex with duct tape, gloves, and a blanket inside. Kelly's phone has reportedly not been used since Jan. 10.
A Texas Ranger reportedly spoke with Ferguson, who said he knew Kelly and admitted to using a fake name in their relationship in order for her not to find out his true identity." Text messages on Ferguson's phone reportedly showed Kelly says she "will tell his wife about their affair if he doesn't answer her."
Kelly and Ferguson reportedly met online and started dating in 2022.
Ferguson allegedly told the Texas Ranger he had not seen Kelly since Jan. 10 at around noon, but cell phone records reportedly show Ferguson traveled from his workplace to his home, drove to Kelly's residence, traveled to the area near where her car was found, and back to his home in Grand Prairie.
On Jan. 4, Ferguson's wife reportedly received a text from an unknown number "advising they needed to tell her something," and "felt it was a female based on the language used in the text exchange."