Families mourn loss of Mansfield couple, unborn son

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Family members tell 2 NEWS they want justice for a Mansfield couple and their unborn son who were found dead in Dayton.

Todd Burkhart, 28, and Kyla Hayton, 20, were reported missing last week.

According to police, Burkhart’s body was found in a vacant home on Wildwood Avenue Friday night. His death has been deemed a homicide due to multiple gunshot wounds, the coroner said.

Hayton’s body was found Monday morning in a home along Stewart Street, which is near the home where Burkhart’s body was found. Hayton was five months pregnant, according to investigators, and the unborn child also died.

“We’re from a small town, and you could never have told me I would wake up one day and find out that my brother was murdered,” said Courtney Burkhart, Todd Burkhart’s sister.

Burkhart told 2 NEWS her younger brother was a “family man” who loved playing pool, getting outdoors and spending time with friends.

“If he cared about you, he really cared hard, and he tried to be there for everybody that he could, and if anybody ever needed him, he was always there,” she said.

Todd Burkhart and Kyla Hayton had been together for about a year and a half, Courtney Burkhart said. The couple raised Hayton’s four-year-old daughter together and had a son on the way, who they named Milo, she said.

Hayton’s daughter is staying with family, according to police.

“When they were grilling out, Kyla would make sure she that she always called me to invite me,” Courtney Burkhart said. “Before my brother would even have a chance to, she would call and tell me to come up and eat.”

Dayton police have identified Larry Rodgers as the sole person of interest. He’s being held in the Montgomery County Jail on weapons charges, according to authorities, but has not been charged with the homicides.

Kyla Hayton’s father Brent told 2 NEWS he feared his daughter was in danger ever since the couple disappeared.

“There’s no way she would ever abandon her daughter and be put into anything close to what has happened to her,” Brent Hayton said.

Courtney Burkhart said she wants whoever was responsible to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“I just want justice for my brother and Kyla and for Milo,” she said.

The coroner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of Hayton’s death, according to authorities.

Investigators are still working to figure out how Burkhart knew the person of interest and what brought the couple to Dayton, police said.

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