Suspect who stole car with woman inside before crashing in DC charged with murder

The suspect accused of stealing a car with a woman inside before crashing the vehicle into the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northwest D.C. has been charged with the woman’s murder.

Investigators said Tuesday that 22-year-old Kayla Kenisha Brown was charged with carjacking after she hopped into a car at the MedStar Washington Center Hospital and drove off with 55-year-old Leslie Marie Gaines in the passenger seat. 

Police say at approximately 1:11 p.m. on Monday, June 3, Brown walked away from her family at the hospital around the same time that a Mazda SUV pulled up to the front of the building. 

The driver of the Mazda got out of the car to get her mother a wheelchair when Brown got into the car and drove away with 55-year-old Gaines still sitting in the car.

According to court documents, Brown was at the hospital after family called D.C. EMS to transport her, saying she had "gone out and gotten some sort of drug while out with a man she met on Instagram" and that she had "been acting crazy for about three days."

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Gaines’ daughter immediately called 911 to report that Brown had driven away from the hospital with her mother and a lookout was issued for the Mazda.

Around 1:30 p.m., the Mazda was spotted in the 400 block of 6th Street, Northwest. 

As Brown tried to turn left onto D Street, Northwest, she lost control and crashed into the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  

A police officer in the area saw the crash and went to investigate. As the officer approached, Brown got out of the car and tried to flee but she was stopped. 

When police saw Gaines unconscious in the car, they began to render aid. She was quickly taken to a nearby hospital but was later pronounced dead. 

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine Gaines’ cause and manner of death.

The motive behind the car theft and the circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation

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Kayla Brown (via DC Courts)

Brown was held without bond pending her preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for this Friday.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story inaccurately stated that Brown was charged with murder and kidnapping, citing information directly from law enforcement officials. DC police have sent new information to FOX 5 indicating the murder and kidnapping is still being investigated.