Crime

Indiana Toddler Found Dead After Search

| by Jordan Smith
Kyle ParkerKyle Parker

An Indiana toddler missing for 36 hours has been found dead, police confirmed.

A coroner's investigation revealed 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman died from asphyxiation, according to media reports.

Shaylyn was reported missing on March 23, prompting state police to launch a major search operation.

After speaking to 10 persons of interest, authorities were led to Shaylyn’s body, WTHR reports.

When asked about the location where the toddler's body was found, Sergeant Curt Durnil said the area was "very rural."

"It appears that where the river would flood, the body was found right in that area," he added. "It’s a private access. It’s on private property near Gosport."

Kyle Parker, 22, a friend of Shaylyn’s father has been taken into custody.

Parker faces preliminary charges of two counts of obstructing justice, one count of failing to report a dead body and one count of improper disposal of a corpse.

Police said they hope to confirm charges on March 28 and did not rule out further arrests.

“Let me be really frank here: We’ve just started,” Durnil said. “Please don’t feel that just because we’ve [found] a body, just because we’ve made an arrest, that this case is over.”

Sheriff Leonard Hobbs agreed, refusing to characterize the case as a homicide.

“Right now, there’s just too many unanswered questions," Hobbs said during a March 25 press conference, according to the New York Daily News. "[There’s] too much information we haven’t gathered yet. I'm sure that in the next few days and weeks they'll have all the information they need to bring charges accordingly."

Parker was identified by Shaylyn's father, Justin Ammerman, as having been at his house the night Shaylyn vanished.

“Kyle -- or whoever is the cause of it -- I hope the wrath of God comes on him,” Daniel Morgan, Shaylyn’s grandfather, told WTHR.

Jessica Stewart, the toddler’s mother, indicated her devastation in a Facebook post.

“Heartbroken," she wrote. "My baby girl Shaylyn is gone. They found her body tonight."

Earlier, she questioned how much Justin knew about Shaylyn's disappearance.

“I don't know if he had anything to do with it, but I think he knows something, at the very least, that he is afraid to say,” she told WTHR.

Initial reports alleged that a loud party took place at the Ammerman home on March 22.

But Tamera Morgan, Shaylyn’s grandmother, denied this.

“There was one person that came over last night," she told WTHR. "It was Kyle."

Sources: WRTV, WTHR, New York Daily News / Photo credit: WTHR