The boyfriend of a Texas woman who was 24-weeks pregnant with a baby boy when she went missing has been charged with her murder, police said.
In December 2020, an out-of-state relative of Kayla Nicole Rice, 33, reported the expectant mother missing and said nobody had seen or heard from her since the end of the previous month.
At the time of the report, the Beaumont Police Department said they immediately located Rice’s vehicle but it had been “physically altered.”
On Feb. 11, Rice’s skeletal remains turned up in a shallow grave near the town of Vinton, Louisiana, police said.
Shortly after, law enforcement authorities arrested the victim’s boyfriend, Jonathan Paul Menard, 35, in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, on an existing parole violation.
He was transferred to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility in Beaumont, Texas, two weeks after the grisly discovery of his girlfriend’s remains, according to media reports.
Authorities previously accused Menard of tampering with evidence in connection to Rice’s disappearance, and on Tuesday, March 23, they added murder charges against the suspect.
Menard’s bond on the new murder charge has been set at $1 million