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Boyfriend arrested in connection to the death of missing pregnant woman and her son

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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Baton Rouge Police have arrested the boyfriend of a pregnant woman and her young son who were reported missing earlier this month.

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

Murphy was booked in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on two charges of first degree murder.

Brynnen Murphy(Baton Rouge Police Department)

Family members say the boyfriend 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 Kaylen Johnson, 24, and her 2-year-old son Kayden were found early Monday afternoon, March 14.

Kaylen Johnson, 24 (left), Kayden Johnson, 2 (right)
Kaylen Johnson, 24 (left), Kayden Johnson, 2 (right)(Baton Rouge Police Department)

Police said Murphy turned himself in Monday to the First District Precinct on Plank Road.

“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 BRPD.

Brynnen Murphy, 20, (center) is escorted by law enforcement officials into a police car on...
Brynnen Murphy, 20, (center) is escorted by law enforcement officials into a police car on Monday, March 14, 2022. (WAFB)

The family of Kaylen Johnson asked for Baton Rouge Police Department to do a wellness check on March 11 since Johnson and her 2-year-old son Kayden Johnson 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.

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, officers learned Johnson was in a relationship with Brynnen Murphy and when questioned, according to the report he denied knowing the whereabouts of Kaylen and her son.

Police said the pair are believed to have gone missing on March 5, “based off information we collected from Murphy.”

According to BRPD, 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 him, he refused to give information, and from there, he disappeared,” said Sgt. McKneely.

A large-scale police search was underway around mid-day Monday, March 14, 2022, off of Burbank...
A large-scale police search was underway around mid-day Monday, March 14, 2022, off of Burbank Drive in connection with the Kaylen Johnson case.(WAFB)

Saying they were acting on a tip connected to the case, detectives started searching a wooded area along Burbank Drive near Lakeside Daiquiris around 9 a.m. Monday, March 14.

Around 12 p.m., they discovered one body, an adult, at the Burbank Drive scene. Within minutes, police found a second body along Central Thruway in Central.

BRPD’s spokesperson said there is no word yet on why Murphy killed them.

“We tried to interview him and get some information. He didn’t give us any,” said McKneely.

Vans from the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office are seen around 1:30 p.m. on Monday,...
Vans from the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office are seen around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 14, 2022, at the scene of a police search for evidence in the case of a missing mother and her child.(WAFB)

According to the arrest warrant, Murphy contacted officers at the 1st District Police Station and was detained and transported to the VCU for detectives to conduct an interview.

The report goes on to say, Murphy led the detectives to the location of both the bodies.

“Very tough, tragic situation. Uniform officers are affected by this, homicide investigators are affected by this. Everybody in the community is affected by this,” said Sgt. McKneely.

A police helicopter assists officers in the search for evidence in the case of Kaylen and...
A police helicopter assists officers in the search for evidence in the case of Kaylen and Kayden Johnson.(WAFB)

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

Their causes of death are currently unknown, according to police, who are waiting for the autopsy.

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

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