On March 18, Vancouver Police conducted a welfare check on Meshay Melendez and her daughter, Layla Stewart, after family members called to report they had not heard from Melendez since March 11. A friend also reported not hearing from Melendez in several days and noted that Melendez’s dog was barking inside her apartment. Police made their way into the apartment and saw it was empty except for the pet.
According to Vancouver Police, investigators found out Melendez, Layla, and Melendez’s ex-boyfriend, Kirkland Warren, reportedly "went to the residence of an acquaintance" on March 12. Melendez and Warren reportedly went out and left Layla behind. Warren returned, and the acquaintance allegedly saw Melendez "passed out" in Warren’s car. Warren allegedly picked up Layla and left with her.
Police arrested Warren on March 19 on charges of tampering with evidence and violation of domestic violence orders. Vancouver Police said Melendez had a protective order against him. Investigators searched Warren’s home and located several cellphones. Inside his car, investigators reportedly discovered traces of blood, .22 caliber shell casings, children’s clothing, and other evidence.
On March 22 at approximately 9:40 a.m., a passerby called the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to report seeing two "life-size mannequins" in an embankment. Deputies responded and found two deceased individuals, who were later positively identified as Melendez and Layla.
Vancouver Police said the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy March 30 and 31 and found Layla suffered two gunshot wounds to the head while Melendez "sustained a single gunshot to the left temple area."
Both gunshot wounds reportedly came from a small-caliber gun, such as a .22, police said.
Vancouver Police booked Warren again into the Clark County Jail, and records show he is facing 16 charges in total. He’s currently being held without bail.
According to The Associated Press, Warren was out on bond relating to criminal charges in Arkansas when Melendez and Layla were killed. Several days before they went missing, Warren reportedly posted bond in Washington after he allegedly fired his gun in her apartment.