Cell phone records used to tie kidnapping suspect to woman's murder
BATON ROUGE - Police used cell phone records to connect the dots and develop a murder suspect in a recent high-profile murder case, arrest documents obtained by WBRZ News 2 late Monday night show.
Hours earlier, Baton Rouge Police confirmed they had added a murder charge to charges Curtis King, 24, already faced in connection with the case involving murder victim Taylor Latham. Latham, also 24, was found dead in the passenger seat of a car in the driveway of her home in the 1200 block of Louisiana Avenue in May. Police said when she was found, Latham had been dead for 68 hours.
King and Daaria Thomas, 22, were previously arrested on kidnapping charges after Latham's daughter, A'Keyleana, disappeared and then was dropped off at a woman's shelter a few days following Latham's murder. Police said they added the murder charge to King on June 17th. A department spokesperson said detectives found "additional evidence... that led to King's arrest" for Latham's murder.
In documents filed at the jail for King's arrest, a detective wrote King sent Latham threatening text messages and called her as many as 18 times a day for nearly a month leading up to her murder. The detective wrote King sent Latham text messages hours before she was killed, messaging "Itll be ok tho if u still there when i get there u better be long gone i promise" (sic) and later sent "... jus dont let me catch u" (sic).
Investigators used cell phone records from providers of both Latham and King to conclude King killed Latham, police said in the report. Latham sent a text message about twenty minutes before she was murdered and received a call to her phone five minutes before she was killed, police said. Police said they charted King's movements overnight May 1 and early on May 2, the night Latham was killed, and found he moved around the city from his home to within 200 meters of Latham's home on Louisiana Avenue, 13 miles away. The time line of his movements are consistent with the timetable of the murder, the detective wrote in his report.
Police said it was revealed Latham and King had a relationship and King physically beat the woman.
Investigators found it suspicious that King suddenly stopped attempting to communicate with Latham after she was killed. The detective said it is obvious King was "aware [Latham] was dead" since the number of times he tried to contact her dropped to zero after her death.
"The victim's body was not discovered until approximately 68 hours after her death and only the individual responsible would have known she was deceased," the investigating detective wrote.
Police were turned on to cell phone records after Latham's phone was found missing from its car charger, which was plugged in to the car she was found dead inside of in May. During questioning surrounding the disappearance and eventual safe return of A'Keyleana, police said Thomas provided them with King's phone number to triangulate his movements and contact with Latham. Investigators said surveillance video helped them identify Thomas, who was King's girlfriend, as the person who dropped the child off. Investigators said she later admitted King brought the child to the home they were sharing.
King already faced murder charges for the 2013 death of his 6-month-old child, who police said had been put in water so hot it covered the child's body in second- and third-degree burns. A grand jury failed to indict him for the murder charge, and he was accused of cruelty to juveniles instead.
King has a $300,000 bond for the murder charge at the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail, but Judge Trudy White placed a hold on him to keep him from bonding out because of the previous murder charge.
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