HONOLULU (KHON2) — The father of missing 18-month-old Kytana Ancog made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Travis Rodrigues, also known as Travis Heffelinger, was arrested on Saturday, Feb. 13, on a charge of second-degree murder for his alleged role in the murder of Kytana.
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According to police records, Kytana has not been seen since Sunday, Jan. 31, when her mother dropped her off with Rodrigues. Attempts to contact Rodrigues went unanswered for many days.
Police finally located Rodrigues on Saturday after the vehicle he had been driving was spotted parked in Honokai Hale. A search was made of the house where the car was and Rodrigues was located and arrested.
Rodrigues provided a recorded statement to police of the alleged details of the days since Kytana went missing.
According to police records, Rodrigues said that on Thursday, Feb. 4, he struck Kytana on her face and shook and squeezed her against his chest. She appeared unconscious and lifeless afterward, police documents reported.
Rodrigues believed that she was no longer alive but did not call 911. He allegedly set out to make arrangements to dispose of her body instead.
Rodrigues told police that he wrapped her body in a sheet and placed her in a duffel bag. He then met with Scott Michael Carter who allegedly gave him a ride to Carter’s home and then to an acquaintance’s house, where Rodrigues remained. Carter drove off with the duffel bag and allegedly told Rodrigues, “don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it.”
Rodrigues told police he does not know the whereabouts of Kytana.
Kytana’s grandmother said the incidents are horrific and hard to comprehend but the most important thing right now is finding the child’s body.
“I’m just hoping that if anyone knows where Kytana is that they would come forward, so that we can bring her home and lay our sweet baby girl to rest,” said Lisa Mora, Kytana’s grandmother.
A witness told police that while visiting a friend’s residence, they had heard Rodrigues yelling obscenities at Kytana and saw him kick her. The witness also allegedly saw Rodrigues try to give the child a methamphetamine pipe saying, “that’s what she like,” before complaining that he had had her for “three days already.”
The witness later returned and said Kytana was naked and crying and that she had bruising on her body. She also said she saw blood and bruising near her mouth, to which Rodrigues responded it was chocolate and that she had fallen in the shower. The witness told police it was not chocolate.
The same witness said that the child’s legs had even more bruising and that they were “dangling as if lifeless,” when Rodrigues got off a chair holding Kytana the next day.
The witness told police that she felt Rodrigues “was smoking methamphetamine and looked high.”
The family is hoping that Carter will do the right thing and tell police where he put the body. Mora says she can not understand how anyone would mistreat such an innocent child.
“I want them to remember her as the happy loving child that she was,” said Mora.
“Always smiling,” said Shawna Delos Santos, a family friend.
Mora says her daughter, Kytana’s mother, is heartbroken. She brought Kytana to Rodrigues’ home in Aiea on Jan. 31 and it was the last time the family had seen the child.
“She’s not in a great state, she puts a lot of blame on herself and it’s not her fault,” said Mora.
“She’s devastated just like any mother would be,” said Delos Santos.
Rodrigues remains in custody on $2 million bail on a charge of second-degree murder. Rodrigues’ preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, Feb. 18.
Scott Michael Carter also made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday morning. He has been charged with hindering prosecution in the first-degree and his bail has been set at $1 million.