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


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

Detectives have arrested Brynnen Murphy, 20, in connection with the disappearance and death of Kaylen Johnson and her son, Kaden Johnson.

Murphy was incarcerated in the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail on two counts of first degree murder.

Brynn Murphy(Baton Rouge Police Department)

Family members say the boyfriend is the father of the woman’s unborn child.

Police said Murphy was not the father of the deceased 2-year-old.

The bodies believed to be those 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 drove to the First District neighborhood on Plank Road on Monday.

“Throughout the interview process, he gave us information about their deaths and whereabouts,” said Sgt. Ljean McKneely, BRPD spokesperson.

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

Kaylen Johnson’s family asked the Baton Rouge Police Department for a health check on March 11 because Johnson and her 2-year-old son, Kayden Johnson, had not been heard from since March 5.

When officers entered the apartment pursuant to the arrest warrant, they found no signs of foul play.

The family tried to reach Johnson anyway but his cell phone was disconnected and the call could not be made.

The report goes on to say that officers learned that 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 couple were believed to have disappeared on March 5, “based on information we gathered from Murphy.”

According to BRPD, there were many things that led them to believe it was a foul play.

“It was suspicious in nature. We found his car with no license plate. And from there it raised an eyebrow. One of the guys got in touch with him, he refused to give any information, and at From there it disappeared,” Sgt. McKneely said.

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

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

Around noon, they discovered a body, an adult, at the scene on Burbank Drive. Within minutes, police found a second body along Central Thruway in Central.

The BRPD spokesman said there was no word yet on why Murphy killed them.

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

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

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

The report goes on to say that Murphy led detectives to the location of the two bodies.

“Very difficult and tragic situation. Uniformed officers are affected by this, homicide investigators are affected by this. Everyone in the community is affected by this,” said Sgt. McKneely.

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

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

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

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

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