Body of missing 1-year-old Spencer girl found, cause of death ruled as asphyxiation

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The body of missing 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman was found Thursday night.

The toddler’s body was found just after 6 p.m. in a remote area located near the White River, northeast of Gosport.

An autopsy performed Friday revealed the toddler died from asphyxiation, and her death was ruled a homicide. State police said there is no known weapon connected to the case.

Kyle Parker, 22 of Spencer, was taken into custody Thursday night and is currently being held in connection with this case.

Parker’s criminal history started within the last few years. His first known charges were two misdemeanor drug charges. He was accused of possession of paraphernalia and a synthetic or lookalike drug.

Kyle Parker
Kyle Parker

Months later, he was back in the court system. He was charged with criminal trespassing. A protection order was filed by his victim. He was also picked up for possession of marijuana and illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage.

Records indicate Parker has never been charged with a violent crime. That could change now with this case. He’s being held on 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.

State police said Parker was at the home the night before she disappeared. There are several more persons of interest in the case, and police said it is 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,” said ISP Sgt. Curt Durnil.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday.

Shortly before police confirmed the information, Shaylyn’s mother Jessica Stewart told CBS4 her daughter’s body had been found.

Picture of Shaylyn Ammerman
Picture of Shaylyn Ammerman

Various law enforcement agencies have 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, in the 400 block of West Jefferson Street in Spencer.

During a Thursday afternoon briefing, Durnil said the massive search for the 14-month-old girl included search dogs, cadaver dogs, sonar and personnel from multiple law enforcement agencies. He also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in the case.

Shaylyn’s father, Justin Ammerman, told police his mother put the child down for bed just before midnight Tuesday and when he woke up Tuesday morning his daughter was gone.

According to 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.

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