Prosecutor: Charges in Mansfield couple’s homicides will take time

Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 @ 1:26 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 @ 3:13 PM

It will take some time before the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office will approve any charges related to the shooting deaths of a Mansfield couple found dead in separate vacant homes in Dayton.

“The investigation is in the early stages and so once the detectives finish their investigation, we’ll review it with them to see about what the charges should be, and whether any charges will also be in line and appropriate because she was pregnant,” said Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.

The deaths of Kyla Hayton, 20, and her boyfriend, Todd Burkhart, 28, were ruled homicides.

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Both had gunshot wounds to the head, said Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger.

Hayton was about five months pregnant when she died. Her unborn child died as a result of Hayton’s death. 

Her body was found in a West Stewart Street house days after Burkhart’s body was discovered in a different vacant house on the same street.

It appears that the couple died around the same general time, Harshbarger said.

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Heck said this investigation has been time consuming and Dayton police are working with his office as they sift through the case.

“It would be nice if it was like a show on TV, where the crime happened and everything was solved and brought to justice within an hour,” Heck said.  “It doesn’t happen that way. It takes a lot of time.”

It is not clear if the same weapon was used in their deaths.

The couple was reported missing Nov. 16.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Hayton’s car was found at the corner of West Stewart Street and Wildwood Avenue near the vacant homes where Hayton’s and Burkhart’s bodies were later discovered.

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Dayton police have named Larry Rodgers as a person of interest in the case.

Police arrested Rodgers on Friday for having a weapon as a convicted felon. The charges are unrelated to the homicides, prosecutors have said.

Dayton police searched the Groveland Avenue address where Rodgers was arrested “in relation to an on-going homicide investigation,” court records read.

Dayton police recovered a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine in the bedroom closet at the Groveland house, however, police have not said whether they believe the gun was involved in the shooting deaths.

“We cannot comment on that question due to the active nature of this ongoing investigation,” said Lt. Jason Hall when asked about the weapon.