Man arrested after bodies of missing mother, daughter found in Ford County

Michael Peterson has been arrested on charges of capital murder in the deaths of his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter.
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:54 AM CDT
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FORD COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), and the Ford County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the murders of a mother and daughter from Spearville, Kansas.

Around 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office received a call from 203 W. Avenue B, in Spearville. Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Spearville Police Department arrived and spoke to a male subject who reported that his girlfriend and daughter were missing.

While they were inside the home, law enforcement officers noticed evidence that a crime had occurred in the residence. The man, identified as Michael A. Peterson, 31, of Spearville, was detained for questioning.

Just before 4 p.m., the Ford County Sheriff’s Office requested KBI assistance. KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team responded to the scene to investigate.

KBI agents and deputies from the Ford County Sheriff’s Office began an extensive search for 31-year-old Kayla Vasquez and 4-year-old Alilyah Vasquez. They were later assisted by the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office.

Kayla Vasquez, 31 and 4-year-old Alilyah Vazquez were reported missing Wednesday afternoon,...
Kayla Vasquez, 31 and 4-year-old Alilyah Vazquez were reported missing Wednesday afternoon, June 15, from their Spearville home.(Ford County Sheriff's Office)

On Thursday, June 16, at approximately 4:15 a.m., authorities located the body of Kayla Vasquez in rural Ford County. Then at around 5:40 a.m., the body of Aalilyah Vasquez was discovered in Kinsley. Autopsies will be conducted.

Peterson was arrested shortly after for capital murder connected to the deaths of Kayla and Alilyah Vasquez.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses:

No threat to the public is believed to exist related to this incident. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Ford County Sheriff’s Office at 620-227-4501. The investigation is ongoing.

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