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Autopsy Reveals Toddler's Death As Homicide By Asphyxiation
Updated March 25, 2016 4:35 PM | Filed under: Crime
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(SPENCER) - Fourteen-month-old Shaylyn Michelle Kay Ammerman of Spencer was the victim of a homicide by asphyxiation, according to an official release issued by Owen County Coroner Stan Frank.

The toddler, born December 31, 2014, was reportedly taken from her crib in the living room between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday at 489 West Jefferson Street. The home is shared by her father, grandparents and uncle,

Frank said his office has confirmed the remains as those of Shaylyn Ammerman. The autopsy was performed by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Donna Stewart at the State of Kentucky Medical Examiners Office in Louisville.

Preliminary results were limited to the cause of death as homicide by asphyxiation. No additional information was available as of 1:30 p.m. today.

Just after 6 p.m. Thursday night, investigative efforts by several law enforcement agencies led officers to a remote area located near the White River northeast of Gosport where they discovered a toddler's body.

Police have arrested 22-year-old Kyle Parker of Spencer.

According to officials at the Owen County Jail, Parker faces two counts of obstruction of justice, a count of failure to report a dead body and a count of unlawful disposition of a dead body.

On Friday morning, Owen County Sheriff Leonard Sam Hobbs offered only a cursory update on the investigation, deferring to Indiana State Police. He said Parker hasn't made any statements since being taken to the Owen County Jail.

"The baby's safe with God now," Hobbs told reporters Friday. "A tragedy like this can bring out the best in people. The community has been nothing but the best, and I thank God for that."

Hobbs said there were three or four "persons of interest" in the case. He couldn't comment on any warrants related to the investigation. As for Parker, Indiana State Police said they were still connecting the dots.

"We do know he was in the house that night, but we don't know where his whereabouts were, we cannot draw a map right now of what happened when he left that house," Sgt. Curt Durnil with Indiana State Police said Thursday night.

The little girl was reported missing Wednesday morning. She was last seen at the home where her father and grandmother live in the 400 block of West Jefferson Street in Spencer. Her father, Justin Ammerman, said his mother put the child down for bed just before midnight Tuesday. When he woke in the morning, she was gone, setting off a large search.

Durnil said the investigation was far from over.

"Let me be really frank here. Please don't feel like because we've found a body and we've made an arrest that this case is anywhere near 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," Durnil said.

Justin Ammerman's brother, Adam, said Kyle Parker had been drinking at the home on the night Shaylyn vanished. State police cautioned that the investigation into the case could take weeks, if not months.

According to court records, Parker has been charged in the past with possession of paraphernalia and possession of a synthetic or lookalike drug. He's also been picked up 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.

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