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Did Kayla Nelson murder Dominic Whitaker, her high school sweetheart and father of her children? Snapped investigates

Family photo of Dominic Whitaker and Kayla Nelson
Dominic Whitaker and Kayla Nelson had been high school sweethearts who had appeared to have a bright future together. Pic credit: Oxygn.com

Snapped on Oxygn examines the case of Dominic Whitaker and Kayla Nelson, a couple from Arkansas who had two children together, but whose relationship ended in murder.

Nelson and Whittaker had been high school sweethearts who were always seen together laughing and smiling. Both of them had been star athletes on their respective teams and seemed to have a bright future together.

However, on the morning of July 9, 2010, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Dominic Whittaker’s mom phoned local police to report him missing saying she hadn’t seen her son since July 4.

Police described Whitaker as a quiet guy who was devoted to his children and was considered by many as a loyal friend; investigators felt he had no reason to skip town.

Then on July 15, a property owner in Dallas County discovered skeletal remains on their land, which the state Crime Laboratory later identified as Whitakers. Investigator said the body was in a “burn pile.”

Police became suspicious of his longtime girlfriend, Kayla Nelson.

She claimed she had nothing to do with his murder and even produced notes that were supposedly written by the “real killer;” these notes read that the author had murdered Whitaker and Nelson would be next.

However, investigators weren’t buying it, and Nelson was charged with the murder.

Police charged Kayla Nelson with Dominic Whitaker’s murder

Nelson had shot her boyfriend twice in the back in front of their two children. She then burnt his body before dumping it near her home.

Five years after the murder, in September 2015, Kayla Nelson was convicted of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse for the July 2010 killing of Dominic Whitaker. She was sentenced 25 years in prison for the murder and given a further six years for abuse of the corpse.

At the sentencing, Judge Robert McCallum stated that he believed Nelson had been in an abusive relationship. Whitaker’s mother, Mary, said after the sentencing that she felt justice had been served.

More murders from TV and Monsters and Critics

Also profiled on Oxygn was the case of Salvatore Perrone, who unleashed terror in New York’s Brooklyn borough when he began shooting store owners, seemingly at random, in 2012.

Perrone managed to avoid capture for several months until a member of the public identified him from surveillance footage released by the cops.

In another case from Arkansas, three 8-year-old boys were found hogtied and deceased in a ditch in West Memphis. The police wrongly pinned the murders on three teenagers, thereby allowing the real murderer to escape justice.

Watched Snapped Sunday at 6/5c on Oxygn.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When... read more
Jerry Brown


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