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‘Person of interest’ in Vancouver mom, daughter case indicted for Arkansas crime

By Liz Burch,


Editor’s note: Authorities say they believe they have found the bodies of 27-year-old Meshay Melendez and her daughter, 8-year-old Layla Stewart . The previous story on the person of interest in connection with the case is below .

PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) – The man police say is a “person of interest” in the disappearance of a Vancouver woman and her daughter appeared before a Clark County judge Wednesday – for a different crime in another state.

The Vancouver Police Department says Kirkland Warren was the last person with 27-year-old Meshay Melendez and her 8-year-old daughter Layla Stewart . Authorities say they were last seen March 12 and Melendez’s car was found March 19.

According to court documents obtained by KOIN 6, Warren’s criminal history shows “an active case, indicted in Arkansas for murder and abuse of a corpse.” It was that Arkansas case that led to Warren’s appearance in a Clark County court Wednesday.

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During the court proceedings on Wednesday, Warren’s lawyer said “he is the Mr. Warren listed on the documents, but I’d like to hold off waiting on extradition until I can talk to him.”

Court documents show that Warren had been in a relationship with Melendez, who reported “…being physically assaulted and shot at by boyfriend, Kirkland Warren” at her apartment, saying “Kirkland was driving near the balcony window and shot at Meshay as she looked at him outside.”

On another occasion, the court documents also show that Melendez called police to say he was “putting his hands on her and choking her.”
Layla Stewart (left) and her mother, Meshay Melendez (right) were last seen in Vancouver on March 12, 2023 (Courtesy: Vancouver PD).

Melendez and Stewart were last seen in the area of Vancouver Mall Drive and Northeast 77th Avenue, according to Vancouver police.

On March 19, authorities arrested Warren on charges of tampering with a witness, illegally possessing a firearm and violating a domestic violence order meant to protect Melendez.

Warren’s bail is currently set at $1,120,000 at Clark County Jail

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Anyone with further information about Malendez and Stewart’s whereabouts can contact Detective Givens ( ), Detective Nolan ( ), Sergeant Ballou ( ) or 911.

Stay with KOIN 6 as this investigation continues.

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