Meshay Melendez, 27, of Vancouver, and her daughter Layla Stewart, 7, were found dea†h down a steep embankment along a rural Washougal road a week ago, and the Clark County Medical Examiner confirmed their identities on Friday.
Evidence found at the site, according to Vancouver police, “indicated both had been sh0t.”The coroner determined that Stewart d!ed from “small-caliber projectile” wounds to the head, which are consistent with a.22 bullet. Melendez had a single gunshot wound to her left temple, according to the medical examiner.
Both dea†h were determined to be homicides. The Vancouver Police Department announced that Kirkland Ciron Warren, 28, had been detained for two counts of first-degree murd*r shortly after the medical examiner’s report.
Once Melendez was arrested and charged with firing at Warren’s apartment in December, Warren was ordered to have no contact with him. According to court documents, Melendez received several phone conversations from Warren in Clark County Jail earlier this month, during which Warren continually blamed her for the domestic abuse accusations against him and said she needed to “find out” how to get them dismissed.
On March 8, Warren was released from jail without being required to wear a GPS monitor. Melendez and Stewart were reported missing on March 12 when a mutual friend saw them with Melendez’s ex-girlfriend Warren. According to court filings, Melendez and Warren visited a friend’s home in the 7800 block of Northeast Loowit Loop in Vancouver at around 5 a.m. that day to drop off Melendez’s kid.
When Warren and Melendez arrived approximately three hours later in Warren’s Dodge Charger, the friend noticed Melendez “passed out” in the passenger seat. Before leaving, Warren went inside the house, retrieved Layla, and loaded her into the car.
Melendez’s mother reported her missing on March 18. The following day, Melendez’s mother discovered her daughter’s car outside the friend’s house on Loowit Loop, which is less than a mile from their apartment.
Later that day, police arrested Warren at his residence in the 3700 block of Northeast 109th Avenue on various charges, including tampering with a witness and breaching no-contact orders for the prior domestic violence case between him and Melendez.
According to a press release issued by the Vancouver Police Department, officers executed a search order and recovered “several” cell phones and two vehicles “connected with Warren.”
Police discovered blood in the front and rear seats of the Dodge Charger. 22-caliber cartridge casings, children’s clothing matching what Stewart was thought to be wearing on March 12, and Melendez’s purse with her ID inside.
Police discovered a 22-caliber pistol in the center console of the second vehicle, a Hyundai Palisade. The Clark County Prison is currently housing Warren.
On the prior string of domestic violence allegations, a judge in Clark County Superior Court set Warren’s bond at $1 million on March 21. He was scheduled to return to court on April 21.
Warren is also accused of first-degree murd*r in Arkansas for the shooting dea†h of 57-year-old Curtis Urquhart, who was discovered sh0t in the head in a ditch on December 11, 2017. A judge in Arkansas revoked Warren’s release on March 17 and issued an arrest warrant for him.
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