Open in App
KOIN 6 News

Sunday vigil to honor missing mom, daughter amid police investigation

By Liz Burch,


PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) – A vigil will be held Sunday at Esther Short Park in honor of the Vancouver mother and daughter that detectives believe were found dead in Washougal this week.

The organizers say the vigil will begin around 11 a.m., and request that everyone wear pink and red.

Meshay Melendez and her daughter Layla Stewart were last seen on March 12. Investigators say a person who lived in the Washougal area spotted two bodies Wednesday.

Antisemitism is rising in Oregon, Washington: Anti-Defamation League audit

Kirkland Warren, the man police say had once been in a relationship with Melendez, is still a “person of interest” in the pair’s disappearance.

Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 reveal that Melendez had reported physical abuse and threats in the past from Warren.

He’s also a wanted man in an Arkansas murder case, where Warren told police he killed a man and dumped him in a ditch.
Layla Stewart (left) and her mother, Meshay Melendez (right) were last seen in Vancouver on March 12, 2023 (Courtesy: Vancouver PD).

Brittinie Lasseigne of the YWCA in Clark County said the organization tends to see a spike in people reaching out to them when there’s an incident like this in the community.

Fire tears through homeless camp near Broadway Bridge, spreads to nearby brush

“When we first got the news that the daughter and mother were missing, we did see an increase of people reaching out, and especially when we saw the news they were found, yesterday we had quite a few walk-ins and people calling our 24-hour hotlines,” Lasseigne said. “People are re-evaluating their circumstances.”

According to the court documents, police said in early March they believed Warren was a credible lethal threat to Melendez. They asked the court to make him wear a GPS monitor.

Court representative said the order for the GPS was dissolved when the case was transferred to superior court. They say that once the case is dismissed, the court’s order cannot be applied because there is no longer a jurisdiction over that case.

YWCA said research shows that when someone strangles their partner or has access to firearms, the risk of homicide exponentially increases.

YWCA provides a 24-hour SafeChoice Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline (1-800-695-0167) and a national 24-hr Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233). The organization also has a Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Friends & Family Guide .

Stay with KOIN 6 as this story continues.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Local Oregon State newsLocal Oregon State
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0