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Jonathan Menard, 35, was arrested on a charge of tampering with evidence in Louisiana and transferred to Texas facility

By Elaine Aradillas
March 02, 2021 05:03 PM
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Kayla Nicole Rice
Credit: Beaumont PD

A Texas man is behind bars following the discovery of his pregnant girlfriend's body, which had been buried in a shallow grave, police say.

Jonathan Menard, 35, was arrested on an alleged parole violation and charged with tampering with evidence, according to online jail records. But in a statement issued by the Beaumont Police Department, more charges are pending and may be filed this week.

In December, a family member called police and reported no one had seen or heard from 33-year-old Beaumont resident Kayla Nicole Rice since late November when she was six months pregnant, according to a police statement.

"At the time of the initial report, her vehicle was immediately located by police but was found to have been physically altered," the police stated in its release at the time.

Jonathan Menard
Jonathan Menard

On Feb. 11, officials at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office in neighboring Louisiana received a call from someone stating there appeared to be "skeletal remains in a shallow grave," the Sheriff told local TV station KBMT.

The remains were identified as belonging to Rice.

A week later, officials from the sheriff's office issued an arrest warrant for Menard, the station reported.

He was arrested on an alleged unspecified parole violation and transferred to the Jefferson County Correctional Center in Beaumont where he is currently jailed, according to online records.

It is unclear whether he has entered a plea or obtained an attorney to speak on his behalf.