27-year-old Meshay "Karmen" Melendez is the mother of 7-year-old Layla Stewart, and the mother and her young daughter are currently missing out of Vancouver, Washington.
On December 13, 2022, Meshay's boyfriend, 28-year-old Kirkland Warren, fired a gun at her apartment in the Minnehaha area of Vancouver.
On March 2, 2023, Kirkland was arrested for a drive-by shooting and charged with assault with a firearm, felony harassment, and possession of a stolen firearm. He was issued a no-contact court order to protect Meshay. Kirkland posted bail and was released from the CCSO jail.
On March 12, 2023, Meshay and Layla were last seen in the 7700 block of Vancouver Mall Drive where a friend of Meshay's was babysitting Layla. The friend told authorities she saw Meshay "unresponsive and partially clothed" in Kirkland's car, The Columbian reports. Kirkland came and picked up Layla from the friend.
No one has seen or heard from the mother and daughter since. Layla has not returned to school.
On March 19, 2023, her abandoned vehicle was found.
Authorities then arrested Kirkland Warren again and the Clark County Sheriff's Office charged him with unlawful firearm possession, violating a protection order, and tampering with a witness.
"Warren is a person of interest in the disappearance of Meshay and Layla and thus far, is the person we believe they [Meshay and Layla] were last with," the Vancouver Police Department said in a public statement.
Authorities are asking residents in the area to check their footage between March 11-18 for a 2021 maroon Dodge Charger with Oregon license plate number 812MWM and a 1999 white Chevrolet Lumina with Washington license plate number. 3A68206. They are also asking the public to look for a 2011 white Chrysler 200 with a Washington license plate.
“I want everyone to keep a lookout for them and for any video this vehicle is on. There are cameras everywhere,” her mother, Nichole Norris told The Columbian. “I just want them to be safe and come home.”
Meshay Melendez is 5'9" and weighs 185 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Layla Stewart is about 4 feet tall, weighs 50 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. If you have any information, please contact 911 or Detective Givens via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Detective Nolan by email at email@example.com.
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