Last week, I mentioned Kayla Lorrain Wood, 16, who was found stabbed to death in a burning house in Moreno Valley. It would appear that someone murdered her, and then set the abandoned house ablaze to hide the evidence. I asked the question,
But what drives a person to murder a 16-year-old girl then set fire to a house to dispose of the body? Drugs? Sex? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Family pastor? Something darker and more twisted than even I can come up with?The answer, it would appear, is a little more complicated.
Michelle Linder of Riverside emailed me a couple of links the other day that shed a little light on Kayla's life.
The first, is a Press Enterprise story about the incident.
Kayla Lorrain Wood's short life was defined by turbulence and violence. She was sexually abused. She was diagnosed with a mental disorder. She ran away from foster care in two states and she was suspected of prostitution.There are so many things in this story that speak of tragedy, heartache and a desperate plea for help that either never came, or came too late.
The blond, blue-eyed girl had been missing for nine days, after again running away from a group home. Kayla's body was found with her aunt's phone number tucked in her pocket. Relatives say they think she just wanted to come home.I don't think I can imagine more tragic circumstances.
The situation opens a number of questions. Why did she run away? How did she get out of the group home she was in? Why weren't her family members told of her absence until after she was discovered dead?
The details of Kayla's life paint a pretty bleak picture. Substance abuse charges against her parents, molested at the age of 10, raped at 13. She was put into the group home just before her 14th birthday in 2004 after her mother was arrested.
In the last month, Kayla attempted to run away from the foster home a least 10 times. Members of her family had been attempting to gain custody of her for some time.
Kayla reportedly wrote a letter to a friend saying a pimp had picked her up in front of the Moreno Valley group home and dropped her off in an Arizona park, her grandmother Vivian Wamsley said.In all of this there is only one thin, silver lining.
Kayla returned July 27 and in the letter she named the man who took her across state lines and Kayla said he threatened her.
Investigators were able to locate and arrest three primary suspects (1 adult, 2 juveniles) in this case. They were located in Moreno Valley and Riverside, interviewed and subsequently booked into Robert Presley Detention Center and Juvenile Hall for the homicide. The name of the male adult suspect will not be released at this time due to the ongoing investigation.The investigation into her death is ongoing. If you know anything, please call the Moreno Valley Police Department at 951-486-6700 or Investigator Seckinger at the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777.
Thanks for the links, Michelle.