Roderick Watson Jr. said Thursday he did not know the couple accused of kidnapping his young daughter. Thus far, he’s as curious as anyone about why his toddler, 2-year-old A’Kyleana Latham, disappeared over the weekend not long before her mother was found shot to death.
“It’s still a mystery, and it seems like everyone just wants to piece it together and figure out,” Watson said. “And I’m trying to do the same.”
A day after a man awaiting trial on a child abuse charge and his girlfriend were arrested in A’Kyleana’s kidnapping, the events leading up to her disappearance and the shooting of her mother, Taylor Latham, remained murky.
Was the toddler kidnapped before or after the shooting? How was the little girl’s disappearance related to her mother’s killing, if at all?
And how did a man who was accused of abusing his infant son before the child died in November 2013 end up accused of taking A’Kyleana?
Those questions remained largely unanswered Thursday, as police either didn’t know or couldn’t comment because of the ongoing investigation.
Still, some new details surfaced indicating Curtis King, one of the accused kidnappers, knew Taylor Latham, who on Monday afternoon was found shot to death in a car parked outside her Louisiana Avenue home.
While investigating the killing, homicide detectives learned Latham “had recently been involved with a black male known only as ‘King,’ ” according to a police report, which also said a witness identified “King” as 24-year-old Curtis King.
The report didn’t specify how the two were involved, but a police spokesman described it as an “off-and-on relationship.”
The report said King, who was out on bail after being charged in March 2014 with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile following the death of his infant son, Aiden King, took A’Kyleana “from her mother” at the Louisiana Avenue home “on or about May, 2, 2015, at the time of Taylor Latham’s murder.”
Dr. Beau Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner, said Thursday an autopsy did not indicate exactly when Latham died her body was found Monday evening.
As of Thursday, police had not implicated anyone — including King and Thomas — in Latham’s killing.
Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman, said King and Thomas “definitely were not supposed to have” A’Kyleana when she disappeared. King took her Saturday and Thomas returned the toddler to a women’s shelter in Baton Rouge on Tuesday after a missing child alert was sent out by authorities, according to the police report. The two were arrested Wednesday night and booked with aggravated kidnapping.
The toddler was reunited with her father, Watson, Tuesday afternoon. He plans on taking her back to Houston, where he lives, to raise her with his other young daughter. Watson doesn’t have any connections to the Baton Rouge area, he said.
“We’re doing good right now,” Watson said Thursday. “Just making sure she’s good. Checking everything out.”
Police asked anyone with information about the toddler’s disappearance or her mother’s killing to call them at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.
Follow Ben Wallace on Twitter, @_BenWallace.