Boyfriend charged with murder in deaths of missing pregnant woman and 2-year-old boy

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB/Gray News) - Baton Rouge police have arrested the boyfriend of a pregnant woman who was reported missing along with her young son earlier this month.

Detectives arrested 20-year-old Brynnen Murphy in connection to the deaths of Kaylen Johnson, 24, and her 2-year-old son, Kaden Johnson.

A preliminary autopsy report released by the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office on March 15 ruled Kaylen and Kaden Johnson’s deaths as homicides.

According to the report, Johnson died from multiple gunshot wounds and was pregnant at the time of her death. Kaden’s cause of death is still being studied, but authorities believe he died from hypothermia. No sign of trauma was reported in Kaden’s death.

Murphy was booked in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on two charges of first-degree murder. He is being held with no bond.

Kaylen Johnson, 24, and Kayden Johnson, 2, were found dead.
Kaylen Johnson, 24, and Kayden Johnson, 2, were found dead.(Baton Rouge Police Department)

Family members say Murphy is the father of the woman’s unborn child. Police said Murphy is not the father of the deceased 2-year-old.

The bodies believed to be that of Johnson and Kayden were found March 14.

Police said Murphy turned himself in Monday and led the detectives to the location of both the bodies in a wooded area.

“Throughout the interview process, he gave us the information as to both being deceased, and the locations as to where they were,” said Sgt. Ljean McKneely, a spokesperson with Baton Rouge police.

The family of Johnson asked for police to do a wellness check on March 11 since she had not been heard from since March 5. When officers made it inside the apartment, according to the arrest warrant, they found no signs of foul play.

Brynnen Murphy is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Brynnen Murphy is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.(WAFB)

The family still tried reaching Johnson, but her cell phone was disconnected and the call could not be made.

The report goes on to say that officers learned Johnson was in a relationship with Murphy, and when questioned, he denied knowing the whereabouts of Johnson and her son.

According to police, there were many things that led them to believe foul play was involved.

“It was suspicious in nature. We found her car without the license plate on it. And from there, it raised an eyebrow. One of the guys made contact with [Murphy], he refused to give information, and from there, he disappeared,” McKneely said.

Ultimately, Murphy turned himself in and led police to the bodies, officials said.

After examining the bodies, police believe the victims could have been dead for at least a week.

Additional charges could be pending for Murphy as this investigation continues.

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