The Investigators: Police arrest pair in connection with 2-year-old's kidnapping

A'Kyleana and Taylor Latham (Source: Family)
A'Kyleana and Taylor Latham (Source: Family)
Curtis King is placed into a police car to be taken to jail for booking. (Source: WAFB)
Curtis King is placed into a police car to be taken to jail for booking. (Source: WAFB)
Daaria Thomas is led to an awaiting police car as she heads to jail for booking. (Source: WAFB)
Daaria Thomas is led to an awaiting police car as she heads to jail for booking. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two people were arrested Wednesday night in connection with the abduction of a 2-year-old girl whose mother was found shot to death in her car.

The Baton Rouge Police Department said Curtis King, 24, and Daaria Thomas, 22, both of Baton Rouge, were booked on charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child. They were both picked up by police Wednesday morning for questioning. King was also charged with possession with intent to distribute Schedule I controlled dangerous substance. Bond has not been set for the suspects.

According to investigators, King and Thomas took A'Kyleana Latham from her home early Saturday morning and took her to their apartment on South Harrell's Ferry Drive. They allegedly later dropped the little girl off outside a women's shelter. She was unharmed.

Police are not sure if the couple was involved in the death of Taylor Latham, 24. She was found dead in her car Monday night. The coroner determined she died of a gunshot wound to the head. Her death is ruled a homicide.

"We have these two individuals," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely with BRPD. "We know that they had kidnapped the two-year-old. We hope they come forward with information, if they have any, relative to the shooting. We feel that they may and we're hoping that they come forward."

Detectives believe Latham was shot to death in her driveway on Louisiana Avenue on Saturday around 7:45 p.m. Investigators believe that is also when her 2-year-old daughter went missing.

King was under investigation in May 2013 after his 1-month-old son, Aiden King, was taken to the hospital with burns from scalding hot water. In November 2013, King was arrested after the then 6-month-old died while in his care. King was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to juveniles. He was out on bond and awaiting trial. Thomas was the boy's mother. She was not charged in his death.

Roderick Watson Jr., A'Kyleana's father, drove to Baton Rouge from his home in Houston to help in the search for his daughter. He was at WAFB when he received word that his daughter was safe.

Watson said his little girl was very close to her mother. In fact, when he went to pick her up from the police department Tuesday, she kept calling for her "mommy" and she was looking for her. Watson added he has not been able to tell his little girl that she will never see her mother again.

"I mean, I don't have anything to say because I am speechless," Watson said. "I won't be able to explain it to her. I've been kissing her a thousand times because I was at the point that I didn't know if I would ever be able to give her a kiss again."

Lawrence Latham, Taylor Latham's uncle, said the news that his niece was murdered is still sinking in.

"She was a really good mother," Lawrence Latham said. "The one thing she cared more about than anything was A'Kyleana."

"[A'Kyleana] will never be able to hug her mother again. She'll never be able to kiss her mother, so we're going to need the help to bring the justice and peace for her mother," Watson explained.

Anyone with information that might help police solve the murder of Taylor Latham is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.

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