Murder charge filed against man in Indiana toddler’s death

This undated photo provided by the Ammerman family shows Shaylyn Ammerman, who was reported missing from her crib by her grandmother Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (Courtesy of the Ammerman Family/The Herald-Times via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

SPENCER, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana man was charged Monday with murder, rape and kidnapping counts in the case of a 1-year-old girl who was found dead two days after she disappeared from her father’s home.

Online court records show formal charges were filed against 22-year-old Kyle Parker in an Owen County court. An initial hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Court records did not list a defense attorney for Parker.

Shaylyn Ammerman was reported missing Wednesday morning, and her body was found Thursday night in a remote area about 10 miles from her father’s home in Spencer. The county coroner’s preliminary autopsy showed Shaylyn’s death was a homicide by asphyxiation.

 (Courtesy: Owen County Jail)
(Courtesy: Owen County Jail)

Parker was arrested Thursday night. The Owen County prosecutor’s office said charging documents would be released Monday afternoon.

The girl’s father and grandmother, Justin Ammerman and Tamera Morgan, were the last people known to have seen her late Tuesday. She had been staying at her father’s home under a joint custody arrangement with the girl’s mother.

More than 100 people from several police departments and other agencies searched two days for Shaylyn.

Authorities found the body Thursday night on private property near the White River outside of Gosport, about 40 miles southwest of Indianapolis. State police Sgt. Curt Durnil said authorities were tipped off by witnesses and persons of interest.

Several hundred people attended a prayer vigil for Shaylyn at a Spencer park Friday evening.

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