Search for Missing Family Ends in Tragedy

Search for Missing Family Ends in Tragedy

( – A search for a missing Washington family has come to a sad end, after cops found two bodies last Wednesday. A 27-year-old woman and her daughter were last seen on March 12, along with the woman’s ex-boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend is now being held by cops as a “person of interest.”

On the night of March 11, Meshay Melendez of Vancouver, Washington, along with her seven-year-old daughter Layla Stewart and her ex-partner Kirkland Warren, allegedly stayed over at an acquaintance’s home. Around 6 a.m. the next morning, Melendez, Stewart, and Warren were seen leaving that home in a burgundy Dodge Charger. A friend of Melendez who called by later that day to pick up Stewart told cops she saw the woman “unresponsive and naked from the waist down” in Warren’s car.

On March 18, Melendez’s relatives contacted Clark County police to say they hadn’t heard from her since March 11. Cops carried out a welfare check at her apartment and found it empty, except for her dog. At that point, a search began. Melendez’s mother found her car on March 19; the same day, cops arrested Warren on firearms, domestic violence, and witness tampering charges.

The search ended on March 22, when a caller reported seeing two “life-sized mannequins” at the bottom of a road embankment in Washougal. Cops responded to the call and found two bodies; they saw “unique identifying genetic marks” identifying them as Melendez and Stewart. The time and cause of death are currently unknown, pending a report from the Clark County Medical Examiner.

Warren is currently on bail for a 2017 homicide in Stuttgart, Arkansas; he’s admitted to the killing but claims it was self-defense. Last December, he was arrested for shooting at Melendez through her balcony window, but charges were dropped after she changed her story. He has numerous other arrests for gun and domestic violence offenses — and cops say he was the last person to see Melendez and Stewart alive. It looks like, yet again, a habitual criminal had been set free to kill again.

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