BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Police said a missing 2-year-old girl was found safe Tuesday afternoon. The child's mother was found murdered Monday night outside of her home.
The toddler's father, Roderick Watson Jr., traveled to Louisiana from Texas to try to help find his daughter Tuesday morning. WAFB's Greg Meriwether was interviewing the child's father when he received the call that his little girl was found safe.
"You can't put it into words there's no words for it it's just joy tears is just happiness there's not a word that you could even find in a vocabulary for when your child comes back home because for a lot of people they never get to see their children again once they leave- never," said Watson.
The Baton Rouge Police Department reported A'Kyleana Latham, nicknamed "AK" by her family, was found inside Baton Rouge city limits, dropped off at a women's shelter on Scenic Highway. No other details have been released about who dropped the child off.
Watson Jr. said Taylor Latham texted him about bringing AK to him for the summer. They were going to meet up. AK was supposed to be with her father on May 4. He hadn't heard from Taylor on the 4th, but wasn't too worried, expecting Taylor to text him later in the day.
"But then Taylor's sister called me and asked if I had AK," said Watson. That is when the red flags were raised.
Detectives said the body of her mother, Taylor Latham, 24, was discovered inside a car on Louisiana Avenue around 7:45 p.m. According to investigators, she had been shot in the head. It is believed she was killed Saturday. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
"I was shocked," said neighbor Robert Perkins. "We haven't had any killings in this area in about four years, and this is only the second one in about eight years."
"We have to do better," said Perkins. "We have to learn to love people and not think about ourselves. I was taught if you only think of yourself, you're selfish."
Neighbors said the mother was found shot to death inside her vehicle in the driveway of her home. Neighbors added the child was always attached to her mother's hip. The pair had not been living in Baton Rouge very long, having recently moved to the area from Texas.
"Taylor wanted a fresh start after her mother passed away in Texas," said Roderick Watson Jr, A'Kyleana Latham's father. "She said there were too many memories about her mother in Texas, so she moved to Baton Rouge. She has family in Baton Rouge."
Anyone with information that might help police solve the murder of Taylor Latham is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.
"I feel like somebody may have seen something or may know something. Sometimes people don't like to come forward, but you have to have the heart to come forward," said Watson.