Waiting for Justice: Mother's heartbreaking quest for answers

Waiting for Justice: Mother's heartbreaking quest for answers

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Nearly two years ago, Kenisha Martin lost her only daughter, 16-year-old Kaylan Ward.

"Yeah, her birthday was April 4 and she was killed on June 4, exactly two months after her 16th birthday," says Martin.

Police found Kaylan's body on the I-10 overpass near Bullard Avenue in New Orleans East on June 4, 2015. Her death remains a mystery. Martin says she yearns every day for justice.

"It won't bring Kaylan back, but it would give me some sense of peace to know that the person won't be able to do that to somebody else," says Martin.

When Kaylan was killed, it took the coroner's office four days to ID her body because she had been run over so many times by cars on the interstate.

"I had people that reached out to me on social media after that happened," said Martin. "They were like, 'I passed that site but I thought it was a dead dog in the street.' Cars were actually hitting her. Her body was in pieces."

The official cause of death is undetermined.

"When I read the autopsy report, it stated blunt force trauma," says Martin.

According to the initial police report, Kaylan's skull was crushed, her right leg detached and the body was not clothed.

The autopsy results show diagrams of the multiple fractures and even detached body parts.

A spokesperson for the coroner's office told FOX 8 there is currently no probable evidence that can definitively point to whether this was an accidental death or not.

Kaylan's mom believes someone murdered her child.

"I just know my daughter was not walking on that interstate. My daughter was a fighter, and I know that she couldn't have even been alive when she was placed on that interstate," says Martin.

Kenisha Martin believes the story of her daughter's gruesome end began five days before her death when Kaylan ran away from home.

"I knew exactly where she went because things were posted on social media," says Martin.

Martin wanted her daughter to leave that house but couldn't convince her to come home.

"My child was at a home where I had spoken with this mother a number of times, and I explained I didn't want my child to be allowed in her home," says Martin.

The next day, she found out again through social media that Kaylan was at a different house.

"She was actually at a home where the kids were there, basically living alone. Mom had moved out and given the kids the house. I contacted NOPD. I stayed at the home for four hours waiting on the police," says Martin.

When the officers arrived, Martin says they told her the home looked abandoned, but Martin insisted her daughter was inside.

"He told me basically, 'I don't' have the necessary paper work to do a report. If you would like to do a report you can go to the station.' So, at that time, it's between 2 and 3 a.m.," says Martin.

Martin said the responding officers did nothing. Later that day, Martin says Kaylan called a family friend and said she wanted to come home. She says Kaylan told them she had a ride.

"Whoever she was with, she was comfortable and she trusted them," says Martin.

That night, Martin received a mysterious phone call she'll never forget.

"I received a phone call from a child who told me someone had called her phone and expressed to her that that was Kaylan's body on the interstate, so, I'm like, 'Who would call you? No one even knows you,'" Martin said. "She said, 'I don't know. They called me from a private number.' That just didn't sound right."

Meantime, for four days - nothing. Just a mysterious phone call lingering in her mind. Then the news no mother wants to receive. Kaylan was dead. Her body was the one found on I-10 days before.

"Whatever took place, they just threw my child's body on the interstate," Martin says.

Devastated and reeling from her daughter's horrific death, it took months before she could process the events surrounding Kaylan's final days. Frustrated, she kept returning to the night when she tried to get Kaylan out of the abandoned home with the help of the help of two officers. She felt should have done more.

She took her complaint to the NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau and the P.I.B determined alleged misconduct did occur. The report stated that officer Denzell Million was in training and under the direct supervision of officer Ryan Morgan. The investigator recommended additional training for both officers.

"For me, that wasn't enough because that additional training won't save my child. On June 2, that was his job to help me get my child and I didn't get that assistance," Martin said.

Editor's Note: Tomorrow night, Natasha Robin reveals more questions about how the NOPD has handled the investigation into Kaylan's death.

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