COVINGTON – After an unlicensed therapist was found dead in Denham Springs Tuesday morning, another local therapist is sharing a warning message.
Kayla Ann Denham, 24, was reported missing Monday and was found dead hours later at the location of her last appointment. Christopher Landry was booked on a count of second-degree murder.
Melissa Hobson, the owner of Covington Massage and Wellness Center, said the story has left her feeling chills. Hobson said part of the massage therapy training includes safety guidelines, but each therapist has to vet their clients.
“You always want to go to a place where you know people are going to be around,” Hobson said. “You don’t want to go in the woods at five in the morning.”
Even with experience, Hobson recalls a session where things got “creepy.”
“He was reaching by grabbing me or telling stories and grabbing me for emphasis,” Hobson said. “But that’s not appropriate. My boundary as a massage therapist is you do not touch me.”
Hobson said she told that customer to leave. She reached out to local therapists and has now become involved with North Shore Alliance Massage Therapist to talk about work as well as what to look out for.
“Massage therapists have to protect themselves not just in outcalls, even in the studio,” Hobson said. “So it’s just a sad tragedy.”
It is still unclear how Denham died, but Hobson hopes this will be a reminder to therapists to always err on the side of caution.