The Murder of Danielle & Kennedy Hoyle

Danielle Hoyle, 27, and her 2-day-old daughter, Kennedy, were murdered on February 1, 2022. Danielle’s ex-boyfriend, Brandon Isabelle, 25, is accused of their murders. Isabelle is also Baby Kennedy’s father. This case is an open investigation.

Background

Danielle Hoyle first met Brandon Isabelle while they both were employed by FedEx. They hadn’t dated long before Danielle became pregnant with Kennedy. Danielle ended the relationship with Brandon early in her pregnancy. Later in her pregnancy, she had begun casually seeing another unnamed man. At least one person in Danielle’s life stated their belief that Brandon was upset by this.

The Day of the Hoyle Murders

On the night of February 1, 2022, at approximately 11:15 p.m., A Memphis Police Department officer was driving on Sedgewick Drive and Levi Road in Memphis, Tennessee. He had been looking for possible stolen vehicles when he discovered a tan-colored Chevrolet Cruze with a broken driver’s side window. The officer ran a license plate search and identified the vehicle as belonging to Danielle Hoyle. Officers contacted Hoyle’s family and learned that they had not seen Danielle since earlier that day when she left her home with her 2-day-old daughter, Kennedy.

The Discovery of Danielle Hoyle

While searching the area near her car, officers discovered the body of a young woman in her mid-20s. Investigators found her lying off of the side of the road in the general vicinity of the abandoned vehicle. She had died from a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators quickly identified the victim as Danielle Hoyle. Her newborn daughter, Kennedy, was not at the scene or in Danielle’s vehicle, so the Tennessee State FBI issued for the child an Amber Alert.

At the time of her disappearance, Kennedy was described as a 2-day-old black female, 17 inches long and weighing 6 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black and white polka dot onesie and pink pants.

The Search for Kennedy Hoyle

During an area search for Kennedy, investigators discovered an abandoned car seat near a dumpster at a Walmart in Whitehaven, TN. Family members confirmed it was Kennedy’s car seat. Investigators from the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee State FBI, and local volunteers conducted extensive searches in and around the community, but no additional evidence or information had been discovered.

Brandon Isabelle

While the search for Kennedy was taking place, investigators questioned Brandon Isabelle, Kennedy’s father. Investigators learned details from him that would be the catalyst for his arrest. Investigators arrested Brandon Isabelle on February 1, 2022, on suspicion of the murders of Danielle and Kennedy. During his police interview, Isabelle allegedly admitted to the deaths of Danielle and Kennedy Hoyle. He stated he lured Danielle to the area of Sedgewick Drive and Levi Road in the Whitehaven neighborhood, where Danielle and her vehicle had been discovered. He admitted to shooting Danielle in the head before removing Kennedy (in her car seat) from Danielle’s vehicle. Isabelle further explained that after placing Kennedy in his vehicle, he drove to the north side of Memphis to the Upper Mud Island Boat Launch located in Island Park along the Mississippi River. Isabelle stated he removed the newborn from her car seat and “tossed the child into the water.” He further stated that he threw the handgun used to murder Danielle into the river in the area of the Wolf River Delta. Isabelle stated that once he left the Upper Mud Island Boat Launch, he drove to a Walmart in Whitehaven, TN which is where he left Kennedy’s car seat.

Brandon Isabelle is Charged

Prosecutors have charged him with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of murder in the perpetration of a felony of aggravated kidnapping, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. A judge denied bond. There was a 25:01 minute video posted by WREG News Station of his initial arraignment. That video can be found here. Please note that his portion of the video appears at the end of the video.

Isabelle is awaiting his trial in the Shelby County Criminal Justice Complex, just outside of Memphis, TN. Despite his confession to investigators, he has pleaded not guilty in the Hoyle murders.

On September 15, 2022, Brandon Isabelle was formally indicted by a grand jury. His charges were recorded as two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated child abuse and neglect. He is awaiting court proceedings.

The Aftermath

Danielle Latesha Hoyle was laid to rest on February 19, 2022, at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, TN. Brown Baptist MBC conducted the interment service in conjunction with N.J. Ford & Sons Funeral Home. She leaves behind a very close-knit family, including a 10-year-old daughter.

The remains of Kennedy Hoyle have not been discovered. Memphis investigators have stated that the search for her remains will continue until she is found.

Danielle’s employer, FedEx, released a public statement regarding her death. “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of our team member and her newborn baby. Our heartfelt thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by these tragic and senseless events. We can confirm that Mr. Isabelle is no longer employed by FedEx. Please refer any additional questions at this time to local law enforcement.”

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