Milwaukee man charged in young woman's death

Complaint: Suspect strangled escort, hid body
Posted at 3:22 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 18:10:22-04

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man has been charged with first degree reckless homicide in the murder of a 23-year-old woman who was found dead near Brady Street earlier this week.

22-year-old Justin D. Sykes faces up to 60 years in prison if he's convicted of the charge. 23-year-old Kayla Bauske was found dead in the 1800 block of N. Arlington Place late Monday night.

According to the criminal complaint, Sykes' mother called police Monday to report that her son's friend told her that Sykes had hired a prostitute who had stolen from him, and that he then strangled the prostitute to death.

"The caller further stated that...Sykes was on coke and drinking," according to the complaint. Sykes later admitted to a police detective that he got an escort for sex and became angry when he discovered his wallet with $300 was missing. 

Sykes and Bauske then got into a fight, according to the complaint, which ended with Sykes strangling her. 

"I wasn't trying to kill her or anything," he's quoted as saying in the complaint.

An autopsy revealed broken legs as well as "post-mortem chemical burns" to much of Bauske's body. Police say Sykes told them those were the result of his attempt to hide her body, as well as cover any DNA evidence using toilet bowl cleaner.

Police say Sykes hid Bauske's body in a "Rubbermaid type" storage bin, which he then put in his closet and covered with clothes. 

"The defendant stated he knew that she was dead and he didn't call 911 because he was high and drunk and didn't know what else to do," according to the criminal complaint.