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GRIFFIN, GA — Here’s another sad one for your Christmas Eve. Police have arrested 40-year-old Shane Collett for the death of Skylar Dials, the 9-year-old who went missing on Friday and was later found dead in a wooded area near her home.

Skylar was last seen alive at around 11 am Friday as she took a 30 to 40-yard path through the woods near her home to get to a friend’s house. Skylar’s friend lived with her mother, the homeowner, and Collett — who had moved into the home a few months earlier.

“Skylar had been given permission to go to her friend’s house to play. The family had said it was common for Skylar to walk that route to play with her friend,” Sheriff Wendell Beam said. “They each walked back and forth. The houses were in clear sight of each other.”

Police were called at around 3:45 pm after Skylar’s aunt went to pick her up for a family outing and was informed she had never made it to her friend’s home. Several local agencies went door to door, and the woods were searched with K-9 units and a helicopter equipped with heat sensors. The search ended 10 hours later when Skylar’s body was found in a wooded area opposite her friend’s home.

“She was more or less behind a large debris pile from a logging operation that went on out here at some point. But not covered per se. There was not debris on top of her,” Georgia Bureau of Investigations special agent Wayne Smith said.

Skylar’s body showed no obvious signs of trauma and was transported to the State Crime Lab for a determination as to the exact cause of death. Skylar’s mother had to be hospitalized after receiving the news of her daughter’s death, officials said.

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There’s not a lot of information on what pointed police to Collett and why he was arrested several hours after Skylar’s body was found, but he has been charged with murder, kidnapping and concealing a death. He’s currently being held in the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center without bond. He’s not a registered sex offender, and investigators have not discovered any other criminal record.

According to Beam, he did not believe Skylar’s friend or her mother were home when Skylar vanished. I guess you can sort of see the scenario… Skylar goes to see friend, friend not there but Collett lets her in to wait for her return…

One neighbor said Collett was one of the people out searching for Skylar and had asked if she had seen the little girl. When she saw Collett’s jail-booking photo on television Saturday, “I could not believe he was the one out heading the search,” she said. “My God. He knew all along.”

Investigators are processing the scene to find any evidence as to how Skylar died, and Beam said more information will be released once they receive the coroner’s report.

According to Skylar’s Facebook Memorial, her funeral services will be this Wednesday, the day after Christmas,  at Haisten Mccullough Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m until 9:00 p.m. Her funeral will be the following day at Center Point Church of God. Afterwards, Skylar will be buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.

I couldn’t imagine having to deal with my 9-year-old being murdered the weekend before Christmas, and buried the day after. If I get any donation info, I’ll update the article.

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  • This is really sad. Imagine having to wake up on Christmas and remember that your kid was murdered and is being buried the next day. Just awful.

  • alphatroll

    I hope it’s the right guy. Losing your kid right before Christmas would be awful, but being wrongly accused of killing the kid after hours spent trying to help find her would be pretty horrible too.

  • I honestly don’t think I’d be able to make it out of bed that day 🙁 That poor mother.

  • Evangelos

    It’s stories like this that make me an advocate of the death penalty. The horror and despair this poor family is being forced to endure is hard to even fathom much less measure. People who hurt children, the elderly, and the mental/physically infirm are a drain on our societies and should be dealt with as any other plague that’s haunted mankind… complete and total annihilation. They should be given the same mercy they showed their victims (absolutely fucking NONE) and dealt with in the same manner. My heart goes out to this poor girls family/community and the loss they must be feeling. We need to put an end to these instances by putting an end to their perpetrators, and making it common knowledge that should ANYONE do something like this the consequence is death plain and simple.

  • JohnQknowitall

    If this guy is guilty he is one heartless person. My thoughts to the family.

  • xtinaway

    i still can’t fathom how or why a grown ADULT can take the life of an innocent child. she should be opening christmas presents this morning. this really upset me 🙁 my youngest sister is 9. i can’t imagine what this family is going through and i pray i never have to…

  • JGo555

    No mercy.

  • malq

    “I could not believe he was the one out heading the search,” she said. “My God. He knew all along.”

    This is the fascinating part for me. How someone can have enough psychopathy to play this game, really gets me. It would kill me having that in my head, but he must get off on the power of knowing that he is the only one that knows and in a sense he is controlling everyone. Nice Xmas story dude.

  • malq

    There is only one reason a 40 year old guy kills a 9 year old that came to visit.

  • malq

    From the link.

    “On the back window of a truck in the driveway, a decal honors Collett’s
    daughter, Bethany, who died in 2007. According to a Facebook page
    maintained by family members, the girl was born with cerebral palsy and
    other disabilities and died just before her fifth birthday.”

    I hope they look into how his daughter really died. Methinks things.

  • LadyLeopard

    I’ve said prayers for the friends and family of Skylar, and for Sklyar herself. The asshole murderer, whoever it is, I said none for – they’ve chosen the negative path so they can go to hell.

  • JohnQknowitall

    I doubt there was much sleep in that house last night.

  • JohnQknowitall

    Or the terror of being revealed as the killer and knowing no other way to cover up the deed. I think he must have sweat beads trying to cover his ass, if he actually is the killer, and not give away any info or add to it.

  • Athena

    Except, the death penalty used to be used much more commonly, and it did nothing to deter murder. You see, psychologically, harsh penalties do little to deter violent crime, because most violent crime is either impulsive (not thinking about the consequences) or planned (so as to avoid the consequences). Either way, criminals are committing crime under the assumption that they will not be caught, so consequence isn’t a consideration. Georgia’s been employing the death penalty regularly since at least the 1730s, and this is a capital offense. That wasn’t on this guy’s mind when he killed this little girl.

    I wish there was some way to prevent these crimes, but sometimes there just isn’t. If the police are right, this girl was killed by a trusted individual known to the family with no criminal record. So what can we reasonably do?

    Beef up the defenses of our children – that’s what. When I was this girl’s age, my dad had taught me basic grappling, boxing and self-defense measures. My father was 6’3″ and 275lbs. He made sure that, if he snatched me up, I was capable of making him let me go. I was instructed to always fight, no matter what threats were made. Skills that, luckily, I never had to use, but it’s better to have them and not need them than vice-versa. There’s nothing wrong with raising little warriors. Worst case scenario, it could save their life. But if it never comes to that, it’s still great for self-esteem (and quite a deterrent for bullies).

    When we see cases like this and talk about how we’d like to see these monsters punished, we’re focusing on the wrong thing. We need prevention, and our kids are the only key to that.

  • newstarshipsmell

    So she can’t bankrupt him with Girl Scout Cookie sales?

  • Chinchillazilla

    Merry Christmas, you magnificent bastard. <3

  • xtinaway

    sick how he knew the pain of losing a child but still chose to inflict that on another person. she was such a beautiful happy looking kid. poor girl.

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    What’s worse would be her unopened presents still lying under the tree.

  • I wonder why Collett was living with Skylar’s friend’s mother. Was he Mum’s cunt-stuffer? They should investigate whether Skylar’s friend was being molested or otherwise abused by Collett as well. These things don’t just happen randomly.

  • xtinaway

    yeah. much hasn’t been said about skylar’s situation. this beautiful little girl was killed and thrown away like a piece of garbage yet all articles about her are very vague. the media only cares to post one photo of her and details are scarce. i just hope they’re not forgetting about her. she hasn’t even been buried yet 🙁

  • xtinaway

    i agree with that too, looking at photos of skylar, she was such a tiny little thing but she did put up a fight. the scratches on that devil’s face. yup, skylar fought for her life. i admire that in her so much…

  • The POS confessed to the murder of Skylar before she was found….

  • Tanya Mobley

    Let me begin by stating that I am a supporter of capital punishment.
    That being said I would also be the first to vote to abolish the death penalty on one condition.
    IF inmates that were serving the sentences that are covered under these types of crimes (life without)
    were made to serve them in the STYLE that death row provides. Complete segregation, housed in their cell 23 and a half hours daily, no contact visits EVER. That sort of thing. Pass the law and I’ll vote for the dissolution of capital punishment. Until then, the punishment is fair as I see it.