To date Kyle Parker has been the only individual charged with the rape, strangulation of missing Indiana toddler Shaylyn Ammerman as authorities begin to eye other potential suspects.
Kyle Parker a 22 year old Indiana man has been accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 14 month old Shaylyn Ammerman.
The charges against the man come after the toddler baby disappeared from her father’s home on Tuesday night with the child’s body discovered Thursday.
Answering to the allegations against him, Parker pled not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, rape, child molesting, aggravated battery, strangulation, obstruction of justice and failure to report a dead body in Shaylyn Ammerman’s death.
The man’s not guilty plea came via video link from Owen County jail during a Monday afternoon court arraignment.
A report via AP told of Owen Circuit Judge Lori Thatcher Quillen appointing attorney Jacob Fish as Parker’s public defender.
Court documents cited by the Indianapolis Star tell of Parker drinking whiskey with Shaylyn’s uncle and taking the girl from the Spencer home where her father, uncle and grandmother lived after family members had fallen asleep.
Charging documents say investigators questioned Parker after Shaylyn was reported missing Wednesday morning from the Spencer home where her father, uncle and grandmother lived.
The documents say Parker first denied involvement, but later directed police to the rural wooded location where her body was found Thursday night near the White River.
An autopsy found Shaylyn suffered severe sexual trauma and having died from asphyxiation.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Donna Stewart, who specializes in pediatric autopsies involving sexual battery and molestation, said that Shaylyn Ammerman’s sexual assault was the ‘worst case of sexual trauma she had seen in her career,’ the affidavit said according to WLFI.
She said Shaylyn was beaten, raped, smothered and strangled.
— Rich Van Wyk (@VanwykWTHR) March 24, 2016
But here’s where things get tricky and convoluted.
According to Parker’s stepfather, the accused man purportedly confessed to raping and then smothered the toddler, before pouring bleach on both the victim’s body and his own in an attempt to destroy DNA. The stepfather also told of Parker telling him that he burned Shaylyn’s clothing and pacifier.
In addition, Kyle Parker reportedly told his stepfather that he acted alone, but planned to try and confuse investigators by accusing one of her family members.
In addition, friends of Parker told police that he was attracted to young girls and that he liked adult videos with sadistic and masochistic themes according to a report via WFTS.
Yet upon being interviewed by authorities, Kyle Parker adamantly denied his stepfather’s claims.
Reports tell of Parker, who hadn’t had a job since last year when he worked at a nursing and rehab center, being a ‘family acquaintance’ visiting the home a dozen times where he used to play with the murdered child.
Told Shaylyn’s uncle, Adam: ‘He knew Shaylyn, he’s played with her, he’s taken care of her. He rocked her to sleep.’
Adding: ‘I knew Kyle through a friend of a friend and he was supposed to be one good friend, and then he turned around and does this to our family, and all I can say right now is I hope he burns in Hell.’
A report via ABC 6 quoted the child’s father Justin Ammerman as having told that Kyle Parker was at his home on the evening of Shaylyn’s disappearance.
The father told, along with himself and the toddler’s grandmother, Tamera Morgan, being the last people known to have seen Shaylyn alive when she was put to sleep in her cot, Tuesday evening.
By Wednesday morning, the father had disappeared from his home.
Shaylyn had been staying at her father’s home under a joint custody arrangement with the girl’s mother.
The discovery of the girl’s body comes after more than 100 people from several police departments and other agencies searched two days for the missing toddler.
Owen County Sheriff Leonard Sam Hobbs said Friday that there are still many unanswered questions in the case.
The girl’s father, who was subject to a police polygraph test earlier on Thursday, has denied claims he was having a party on the night of his daughter’s apparent abduction.
Yet a report via the Herald-Times tells of family members having telling that Shaylyn’s father, uncle, grandfather and a family friend – believed to be Parker – were up late drinking whiskey and watching television.
The gathering wound down at about 2am when the friend is said to have left the family home.
Justin Ammerman said the family went into ‘panic mode’ when they realized Shaylyn was missing the next morning.
The father was subjected to a lie detector test by police earlier on Thursday as cops interviewed up to 10 people of interest.
At present it is not know whether he passed or failed the test and no accusations have been made against him.
Shaylyn’s mother, Jessica Mae Stewart, confirmed her daughter had been found dead in a Facebook post on Thursday evening.
‘My babygirl Shaylyn is gone. They found her body tonight,’ she wrote.
— Kris Kirschner (@krisk13) March 24, 2016
— Kris Kirschner (@krisk13) March 24, 2016
Stewart and Justin Ammerson shared custody of Shaylyn, who was spending the week with her father when she disappeared.
The child’s mother earlier said her former partner knew more than he was letting on, saying she believed her daughter had been abducted.
Told the mother via WTHR: ‘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.’
However Tamera Morgan, Shaylyn’s grandmother, defended her son.
‘He has nothing to do with her disappearance other than he is the father. He put her to sleep like anyone else would,’ she said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Indiana State Police on (812) 332-4411.
Indiana State Police say they don’t anticipate any additional arrests, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Kyle Parker’s trial is currently set for August 10.