Compassionate, kind and considerate; these are just some of the words used by family and friends to describe Kayelyn Louder, aged 30, also known as ‘Kiki’. A graduate of Utah State with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a zest for all that life could give her. Kayelyn was a home-loving girl who enjoyed close relationships with those around her. It is these facts which make the events of September 2014, unexpected and inexplicable. What did happen to Kayelyn Louder?
5 The 911 Calls
At approximately 9 pm on September 26, 2014, the police in Murray, Utah, received a call from a woman complaining of a fight at a wedding party in a clubhouse which was attached to her condominium.
The call was from Kayelyn. The transcripts and audio were later released by the authorities. Kayelyn says she heard a ‘fight that was very brutal’ and reports that guns were involved. A police unit was dispatched to the wedding party, but no evidence of public disorder or any other suspicious activity was found.
One hour later Kayelyn placed a second call and then mysteriously hung up. The police rang her back and apparently she was mostly incoherent, but did say her flatmate, Carole, was accusing her of being delusional.
The call ended and not until the next day did Kayelyn contact the police for the third time.
Reports described her as being more frantic and agitated on this call and she told the dispatcher, there were intruders in her house, and they were ‘stealing shit’ from her. When questioned, she admitted she hadn’t seen them – just heard them. On the audio, you can hear Kayelyn saying, ‘get the fuck out of my house’. It is then you can also hear exchanges between Kayelyn and her flatmate. Her flatmate questions how someone could be in the house if the door is bolted? Kayelyn suggests the intruders must have a key.
When police arrived, they found nothing unusual. No evidence of intruders or signs of a break-in.
4 Caught On Camera
Later that same day, around 5 pm, surveillance cameras recorded Kayelyn walking her dog on the grounds of her apartment. The police claim she was acting oddly in this video and appeared to be having a conversation with herself, though it is possible she was talking and interacting with her dog instead.
A short while later she was seen by residents of the complex and appeared to be crying and attempting to open the gates to the apartment area. Moments later, she is seen on the same camera running through the parking lot away from the apartments.
By the next day, family and friends were extremely worried about Kayelyn’s safety. The police theorised she might have simply run away. However, this does not explain why she left her car keys, phone, personal belongings and dog behind. Further, in the last footage of her, she is barefoot and wearing the same light clothing as when she walked the dog. Not exactly a prepared and rational departure. More like a getaway.
Over the next few days and weeks, extensive searches were carried out for Kayelyn. This also involved civic participation, and an appeal fund raised $5000 for information leading to her whereabouts. Her family maintained throughout there must have been foul play.
2 The River Discovery
Nine weeks later, on November 30th, municipal employees working close to the Jordan River discovered the body of a young woman in the water. The interminable wait for her family was at an end; forensic results confirmed it was Kayelyn Louder.
The location was five miles from where Kayelyn was last seen. The police disputed claims she may have entered the water of the creek that adjoined her apartments and then travelled down the tributary into the wider river, as the creek was too shallow for that to happen. No physical trauma was apparent on her body and toxicology tests ( not released to the family until April the following year ) found nothing in her system to arouse suspicion.
The Medical Examiner believed her body had been submerged in the water for the whole two months she had been missing. A candlelight vigil was held in honour of Kayelyn, and she was laid to rest on December 6th, 2014.
1 Questions And Theories
Previous to her disappearance Kayelyn Louder had been released from her job and was unemployed. According to family and friends, this had negatively affected her, but she was generally upbeat and was in the process of sending out her resume to possible employers. She was even doing this on the day she vanished. Her father says she had been, ‘a little depressed.’
However, none of this can claim to fully explain her actions or subsequent disappearance and finally the discovery of her body. Why would a seemingly healthy young woman with no history of mental illness suddenly become so dislodged and disorientated that she reports disturbances and intruders?
Yes, it is possible that she was experiencing some display of mental breakdown partially due to her being jobless or for reasons not known; possible, but hardly probable.Or could it be that her fragile state was being manipulated by forces unknown? It is not unheard of that when an adult or child is emotionally vulnerable they can be viciously and cynically exploited. Was this the case with Kayelyn?
Why was Kayelyn not seen by any witnesses after appearing on the surveillance camera? Where did she go? How did her body end up in a river five miles away? Could another theory be that she was in an emotional state of mind, perhaps even delusional, but then an unidentified person or persons had taken advantage of this to harm her?
For now, these questions remain unanswered, and any hypotheses remain just that.
In April last year, family spokesperson, Amy Fugal said this: ‘…..we know there is more to the story. Her family deserves answers, and she deserves justice. Without help from influential people or deep pockets, our family fears we are left to accept what the authorities have speculated. But we know this was not an accident.’