Authorities: Missing Washington state mom, daughter found dead

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A missing Washington state woman and her daughter were found dead Wednesday, according to police.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said it responded to a call in which a passerby had reported seeing what appeared to be two “life-sized mannequins” down an embankment in thick brush. The investigating deputy found two human bodies.

Police from the city of Vancouver, Washington, said their detectives were notified and the bodies are believed to be those of Meshay Melendez, 27, and her daughter, Layla Stewart, 7. Family members have been notified, according to Vancouver police.

Family members had reported not hearing from Melendez since March 11, police said. Investigators learned that Melendez, her daughter and an ex-boyfriend had stayed at the home of a friend on March 11, and were seen leaving the following morning, police said.

The man was arrested on charges, including unlawful possession of a firearm and violation of domestic violence orders, the police department said.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death, police said.

Police said they are investigating the deaths.