<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Tuesday,  May 21 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Clark County News

Family of missing Vancouver mom, daughter feel let down by court system

They question release of accused after shooting arrest

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: March 21, 2023, 7:28pm
3 Photos
Family members Kendrick Taylor, 38, left, and Miguel Melendez, 24, both of Vancouver, speak with media Tuesday afternoon about missing mother and daughter, Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart.
Family members Kendrick Taylor, 38, left, and Miguel Melendez, 24, both of Vancouver, speak with media Tuesday afternoon about missing mother and daughter, Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart. (Jessica Prokop/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The family of missing mother and daughter, Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart, say they believe Vancouver’s Kirkland Warren holds the answers to their whereabouts.

Warren, whom Vancouver police declared a person of interest in the disappearances Tuesday, was last seen with Melendez, 27, and Layla, 7, on March 12 in the 7700 block of Vancouver Mall Drive. He was barred by a court order from having contact with Melendez after allegedly shooting at her apartment in December.

“Something definitely happened to them. Layla is always calling us. She’s 7. She’s calling just to be calling,” said Kendrick Taylor, Layla’s grandpa and Melendez’s stepdad. “With her not calling auntie, uncle, me, her grandma, something is definitely wrong.”

With help from the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation, the family and volunteers are searching within a 5-mile radius of Warren’s residence in the Kevanna Park neighborhood and the area Melendez and Layla were last seen.

Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart

Law enforcement officials work at the scene along Wooding Road east of Washougal on Wednesday afternoon, March 22, 2023. Authorities found two bodies believed to be those of a missing Vancouver woman and her 7-year-old daughter in a brushy area farther down Wooding Road.Police: Bodies of missing mother, daughter found near Washougal
Authorities found two bodies believed to be those of a missing Vancouver woman and her 7-year-old daughter in a rural area east of Washougal, police…
Layla Stewart's auntie, Lashay Taylor, in purple memorial shirt, grieves at a community vigil Sunday for the 7-year-old girl and her mother, Meshay Melendez, in Esther Short Park.Hundreds gather to mourn, honor Meshay Melendez and daughter Layla
Slain mother and daughter Meshay "Karmen" Melendez and Layla Stewart will be remembered for being “so full of energy and life." No matter how bad…
Meshay "Karmen" Melendez and daughter Layla Stewart, 7Records detail timeline in disappearance, death of Meshay Melendez, daughter Layla
The following information comes from court records filed in Clark County Superior and District Courts and Jefferson County Circuit Court in Arkansas, as well as…
Kirkland Warren makes a first appearance on suspicion of murder in the deaths of his former girlfriend, Meshay Melendez, and her daughter, Layla Stewart, as Judge Suzan Clark looks on at the Clark County Courthouse on Monday afternoon, April 3, 2023.Prosecutors will charge Warren with aggravated murder in shooting deaths of Meshay Melendez, daughter Layla
Clark County prosecutors say they plan to charge a Vancouver man accused in the slaying of his former girlfriend and her 7-year-old daughter with aggravated…

“It’s so crazy because it’s been a week. Nobody has talked to them since the 11th. This guy has a week on us. We are out searching random places, but it’s like spitting in the wind, because we don’t know,” said Taylor, 38.

Taylor said the family is optimistic Melendez and Layla will be found safe.

But they can’t help but think of the “worst-case scenario: two funerals — a mother, a daughter.”

He described Melendez as an outgoing, loving person.

“She’s definitely going to keep you laughing — the life of the party,” Taylor said. “Meshay is a real sweetheart.”

His granddaughter matches that energy.

“Layla is a bundle of joy, full of life, very outgoing. She has so much energy,” he said.

Melendez’s brother, Miguel, said he video chatted with his niece March 11 so she could show him her new white and orange kitten. The family says they believe the kitten was with Melendez and Layla when they disappeared.

“It’s a mother and a daughter who have people who really love them and want to bring them back home safe. We need to know where our babies are at,” Taylor said.

Both Taylor and Miguel Melendez, 24, said they can’t believe Warren was released from jail after his arrest earlier this month, stemming from the December shooting. They also pointed to Warren’s pending case for a 2017 homicide in Arkansas.

“Why would you not require an ankle monitor?” they questioned.

“The court system failed Layla and Meshay. They really let us down on that,” Taylor said.

To help

Anyone wishing to join the search for Vancouver’s Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart can email the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation at info@nwcave.org. Information is also available on the nonprofit’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/nwcave.

Loading...