A man was arrested Tuesday in the death of a 24-year-old massage therapist whose body was found in a barn near a Denham Springs residence, according to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.
Christopher Landry, 25, was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on one count of second-degree murder in the death of Kayla Ann Denham of Baton Rouge, said Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard, in a news release.
Denham had been scheduled to meet a client at 5 a.m. Monday at a house in the 30700 block of Dunn Road in Denham Springs, where Landry had recently started living, Ard said.
"Friends and family became worried after she failed to return home and calls to her cellphone went unanswered," Ard said.
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Before her appointment, Denham told her boyfriend the time and location of the meeting, Ard said. When he didn't hear back from her and she didn't answer her cellphone, he drove out to the address to look for her but he couldn't find her or her vehicle.
Around 5 p.m. he returned to the original address and went down a gravel road next to the client's driveway where he found Denham's car parked in the woods, Ard said.
He called 911, and deputies joined the search. They found her body in a barn that was near the residence where she was originally supposed to meet her client, Ard said.
"Ms. Denham was able to share her location with her boyfriend which really helped with the investigation," Ard said.
He said Denham routinely provided her boyfriend with the address of her clients.
Landry, previously of 8307 Violet Street, Denham Springs, was also booked with one count of obstruction of justice, Ard said.
Landry does not have a criminal history of violent crime though he has been arrested on misdemeanor drug counts, Ard said, and he has been cooperating with deputies.
Ard said there are still "a lot of questions that need to be answered" and detectives were working with the State Police crime lab and the Coroner's Office to "piece this case together."
Denham's cousin Michelle Guglielmo Gilliam, who is serving as a spokeswoman for the family, issued a statement.
"We are in shock about the loss of our beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin and friend," Gilliam said. "Kayla was a wonderful young woman who always shared a beautiful smile on her face and love in her heart. She will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy during this very difficult period of mourning for the family."