HONOLULU — A Hawaii man whose 18-month-old daughter was reported missing more than two weeks ago was indicted Wednesday after he allegedly confessed to shaking and hitting the girl, causing her death.
Court documents allege that Travis Timothy Rodrigues, 40, of Honolulu, also repeatedly beat the toddler, Kytana Ancog, over multiple days prior to her death. An indictment handed down Wednesday charges Rodrigues with second-degree murder.
Kytana’s body remained missing Thursday. Her father is being held in the Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $2 million bond.
A second man, Scott Michael Carter, 48, is charged with hindering prosecution by allegedly getting rid of the girl’s body. He is being held in lieu of $1 million.
Attorney Randall Rosenberg, who Hawaii News Now reported has represented abuse victims in the past, described the details contained in the court records as “horrible.”
“I’ve seen a lot of abuse cases and I’ve been involved in a lot of abuse cases, some that led to death. The facts of this case based on what we know so far are right up there,” Rosenberg told the news station. “I’m a good liberal Democrat, but it makes you wonder why we don’t have a death penalty.”
Kytana was last seen alive Jan. 31, when she was dropped off to her father at his home in the Aiea community of Honolulu. Neither she nor Rodrigues, who also goes by the name Travis Heffelinger, had been seen or heard from after that.
A missing persons report was filed for the toddler on Feb. 10, and Honolulu police officials began searching for the girl.
“Kytana’s family and friends are very concerned for her safety and well-being,” a police statement said at the time.
According to court documents obtained by KITV in Honolulu, detectives learned that Rodrigues was driving a borrowed silver 2006 Toyota Corolla, which the owner was able to trace to the Honokai Hale neighborhood of Kapolei, a planned community on the western shore of Oahu about 20 miles from Honolulu.
Around 11 a.m. on Saturday, investigators found Rodrigues at a home there and took him into custody for questioning, a police affidavit states. Carter was arrested that night.
Honolulu Detective Donn Manzano wrote that Rodrigues was taken to the department’s main headquarters, where he waived his rights and spoke to investigators. He gave the grim details of what he said happened to Kytana on or about Feb. 4.
Editor’s note: The following account contains graphic details of alleged violence against a child.
Rodrigues said he and his daughter were at the home of an acquaintance in Aiea when the girl, who was lying down, began coughing. Kytana is identified in the report by her initials, and Rodrigues by his alias.
“Heffelinger began to strike KA’s face and shake her before squeezing her against his chest,” the affidavit states. “Heffelinger said that KA was now unconscious and soon appeared lifeless.”
He acknowledged that he failed to call for help and that he believed the girl was dead.
“Heffelinger saw that KA was not moving and not breathing, so he wrapped her in a bedsheet and then placed her wrapped body in a dark-colored duffel bag and carried the bag (from) the residence into the garage,” according to the document.
Carter, who was in the garage, agreed to give Rodrigues a ride. After dropping him off at the home of another acquaintance, Carter told Rodrigues about the bag: “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it,” the affidavit states.
Manzano wrote that Rodrigues told investigators he didn’t know what Carter had done with his daughter’s body.
A witness interviewed by police on Feb. 13 offered heartbreaking additional details of what Kytana went through in the days leading to her death. The woman, identified only as DG, said she’d arrived at the home where the girl was allegedly slain to hear the baby crying and Rodrigues screaming at her.
“Shut the (expletive) up!” he yelled as he slapped the toddler, according to the witness. “Get the (expletive) out of here!”
DG told police the toddler, who looked scared, ran up to her for help. When she asked Rodrigues what was going on, he said, “(Expletive) that baby!”
As DG tried to calm Rodrigues down, he kicked his daughter and, at one point, tried to give her a methamphetamine pipe, saying, “That’s what she like,” Manzano wrote.
Rodrigues told DG Kytana was his daughter and he’d had her “for (expletive) three days already!”
A second time DG went to the house that same day, she said she saw the baby naked and crying, with bruises on her body and blood near her mouth.
“Heffelinger told them that the blood was chocolate and that she had fallen in the shower,” the affidavit states. “DG said the blood on KA’s mouth was not chocolate.”
DG left but returned the next morning to see Rodrigues laying on a chair with his daughter covered by a blanket.
“When Heffelinger got up, he held KA and DG observed KA’s legs with even more bruising and dangling as if lifeless,” the court records state. “Heffelinger carried KA and walked out of the residence.”
DG said she believed Rodrigues, who “looked high,” had been smoking meth.
Read the entire probable cause affidavit below. Warning: It contains graphic details.