Missing couple

MANSFIELD — A vehicle driven by a missing Mansfield couple was found abandoned with a broken driver's side door window Wednesday in Dayton, according to police.

Todd Burkhart, 28, and Kyla Hayton, 20, were last seen Nov. 16 when they dropped their daughter off in Columbus with her grandparents and told family they'd be traveling to Dayton, possibly to purchase an firearm for a friend. The couple was to return Nov. 17.

The car was found in the 900 block of West Stewart Avenue in Dayton, according to Dayton police. 

Burkhart is described as 5-10 and 160 pounds male with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. He has sleeve tattoos on both arms and additional tattoos on his chest, back and leg.

His girlfriend, Hayton, is 125 pounds and reportedly five months pregnant. She has brown hair and green eyes. Her height was not disclosed.

Though initially believed to be from Ashland because of a mailing address, the couple was living in Mansfield at the time of their disappearance.

According to Dayton police,  a 2003 silver, 4-door Toyota Corolla, owned by Hayton's father, Brent Hayton, was found parked and empty in a parking lot to the south side of West Stewart Avenue after the department received a call about suspicious circumstances that could relate to the missing individuals. 

Three silver 9mm shell casings were found on the ground behind the vehicle, but police reported the casings "appeared old" and were bent as though they had been driven over. Only clothing and paperwork from a medical appointment were found in the vehicle. 

"Near the alley leading to the parking lot, directly behind the vehicle, were tire marks. Based on the dirt piled up at the end of one of the tire marks, it appeared that the vehicle had come from the west, towards the east, and came to a sudden stop directly behind the vehicle," the police report said.

The vehicle was not reported stolen and was parked on private property. It was towed and will be examined by Mansfield police Thursday or Friday.

"If anyone in the Dayton area by Wildwood and Stewart (streets) have seen my brother or his girlfriend please contact the police," Burkhart's sister, Courtney, said in a Facebook post. "The car they were driving was found with the windows busted. The car had at least been there for two days like that. If you have any information that might help please tell someone. All we want is their safe return." 

She told police her brother was going to Dayton to purchase an "AR-style" rifle, and that he mentioned knowing a man he was in prison with a man who would sell him a gun. She said she received a text from her brother when they arrived in Dayton in which he told her they'd be buying the gun and then heading back. That was the last time she's heard from the couple.

The car was found near one of the addresses allegedly used by Burkhart's prison friend, Dayton police said. The man was not located.

Anyone with information about their disappearance is asked to contact either the Dayton Police Department or Mansfield Police Department detective Ronee Swisher at 419-755-9724.

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