OWEN COUNTY — The man being held in connection to an Owen County toddler’s death has been charged with her rape and murder.
Kyle Parker has been charged with murder, kidnapping, rape, child molesting, aggravated battery, strangulation, obstruction of justice and failure to report a dead body in Owen County.
According to court documents, Parker admitted to his stepfather on March 27, that he acted alone in kidnapping Shaylyn Ammerman. Parker’s stepfather said that Parker admitted to raping, then murdering the child, pouring bleach on both of their bodies in an attempt to destroy DNA, then burned the girl’s clothing and pacifier. He also said that Parker intended to try to confuse investigators by accusing one of Shaylyn’s family members.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Donna Stewart performed the autopsy. Stewart specializes in pediatric autopsies involving sexual battery and molestation. She called the case the worst case of sexual trauma she had seen in her career. It was determined that Shaylyn was beaten, raped, smothered and strangled.
On March 23, 1-year-old Shaylyn was reported missing.
Family members say she was stolen out of her crib.
Court documents state Parker had been at the residence of Justin Ammerman, Shaylyn’s father, on March 22. A total of five people were in the residence, including Justin’s mother and brother. Parker and Ammerman’s brother, Adam, had been consuming alcohol, according to court documents. Adam Ammerman stated he thought he saw a foot dangling as Parker walked out of the house in the early morning hours on March 23.
On March 24, Indiana State Police found a body they say is the body of Shaylyn Ammerman. ISP said the body matched the description of the missing 1-year-old. Parker was arrested the same day. Investigators said Parker showed them where Shaylyn’s body was located by using Google Maps.
Parker appeared in court via video at 1 p.m. Monday, March 28, according to the Owen County Jail. He pleaded not guilty and asked a judge to appoint him an attorney.
His trial is currently set for Aug. 10.
Investigators are continuing to work the case. Indiana State Police said more arrests were not anticipated to occur on Monday.
The community has since rallied together following the case.
On Friday night, Family of God church held a vigil for baby Shaylyn.
“The thing that holds the community together is knowing that our little girl is safe with God now,” said Owen County Sheriff Sam Hobbs last week.