The death of Shaylyn Ammerman has been ruled a homicide and an autopsy done Friday revealed that the 14-month-old died as the result of asphyxiation. Kyle Parker, 22, a friend of the family who was at the girl’s house shortly before her disappearance, has been taken into custody and he faces two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of failure to report a dead body, and one count of unlawful disposition of a dead body, Fox 59 reports.
The body of 1 y.o. Shaylyn Ammerman has been found near the white river. Suspect in custody. pic.twitter.com/MlWFDWZB8p
— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) March 25, 2016
Parker’s mother released the following statement a short while after her son was arrested.
“News of Shaylyn’s loss has left us completely heartbroken. We wish to extend our most sincere condolences to Shaylyn’s family. Our hearts are heavy and filled with grief over this beautiful little girl’s passing. It is a difficult time for all families involved. We ask for continued thoughts and prayer as police agencies continue their investigative process into this tragedy.”
The body of the missing toddler was found Thursday night in a remote area located near the White River, northeast of Gosport, Indiana. Various law enforcement agencies had been searching for the toddler since she was reported missing Wednesday morning. She was last seen at the home where her father and grandmother live.
WGN-TV wrote that Shaylyn’s father, Justin Ammerman, told investigators his mother put the child down for bed just before midnight Tuesday and when he woke up Wednesday morning his daughter was gone. According to Shaylyn’s mother, Jessica Stewart, the girl’s father was having a party Tuesday evening. Ammerman says that’s not true and he claimed someone entered through the front door of the house and kidnapped her.
The body of Shaylyn was found just a day later and following the grisly discovery, authorities announced that Parker had been arrested in connection with the girl’s death.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Curt Durnhill issued the following statement to reporters gathered in a press conference Thursday night.
“[Kyle Parker’s] whereabouts at the time she went missing, we don’t know exactly where he was. He’s definitely a suspect, but there are going to be other persons of interest in this case. Again, nowhere near over. He’s been arrested. We don’t know what his actual role was right now,” Durnhill said. “Let me be really frank here: We’ve just started. Please don’t feel that just because we’ve made a body, just because we’ve made an arrest, that this case is over.”
“This case is just getting started with more interviews, with more investigative tactics with everything that we have at our disposal we will use to bring those who are responsible for this little girl’s death to justice.”
— Ryan Martin (@ryanmartin) March 26, 2016
Court records indicate that Kyle Parker has been arrested numerous times in the past, including charges for possession of paraphernalia and possession of a synthetic or lookalike drug. He’s also been arrested for possession of marijuana and illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage, records show. In another case, Parker was charged with criminal trespassing and a protection order was filed by his victim, the report states.
— Ryan Martin (@ryanmartin) March 25, 2016
State police said family members who were also in the home have not yet been cleared and the investigation could take weeks, if not months. Anyone with information is still urged to call police with tips.
[Image via Twitter]