Ms Denham had been working towards getting her massage therapist license and had advertised her services online. On Monday, the young woman had texted her boyfriend about the location of a house call appointment she would be making to 25-year-old Christopher Laundry, The New York Post reports.
Her family reported the young girl as missing when they could not get in touch with her.
“Friends and family became worried after she failed to return home and calls to her cellphone went unanswered,” Sheriff Jason Ard told The Advocate.
Ms Denham’s body was found in a Denham Springs barn owned by her client, Mr Laundry.
An autopsy found the young woman had died from blunt force injuries to the head associated with strangulation. Mr Laundry has been charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
Tributes have poured in for the bright, young woman.
“We are in shock about the loss of our beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin and friend,” Denham’s cousin, Michelle Guglielmo Gilliam told WBRZ-TV.
“Kayla was a wonderful young woman who always shared a beautiful smile on her face and love in her heart. She will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy during this very difficult period of mourning for the family.”
This article first published on Marie Claire.