Kyle ParkerOWEN COUNTY, IN — Police have charged 22-year-old Kyle Parker with the rape and murder of 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman.

Shaylyn was reported missing last week after her family woke up to find she was gone. The last one who had seen her alive was her father and grandmother, who had put her in her crib the previous night before going to sleep.

Also in the house that night was the girl’s grandfather, uncle, and Parker – who had been invited over by the uncle to drink and watch a movie.

The girl’s uncle told police that he saw Parker leave the home sometime between 3 and 4 a.m., and that he was walking away from the home carrying something. He added that he thought he might have seen a dangling foot.

Friends of Parker would tell police that he pulled his car into their garage sometime around 3:40 a.m. that morning, then went inside and began washing his clothes. They also said he was acting distant and not his usual self.

When police first interviewed Parker, who had scratches on his arms, he denied having anything to do with Shaylyn’s disappearance and claimed he’d left her family’s home between 12:30 and 1:15 a.m. and went straight to the home of his friends. He explained the scratches came from a cat.

Not buying his story, police urged Parker’s stepfather to talk to him. He did, and then told investigators Parker was ready to cooperate with them. Using a map, he pointed to the location where police would eventually find the little girl’s body. Parker said he was not responsible, and pointed the finger at the girl’s uncle.

Parker’s stepfather told investigators that Parker had confessed to killing the girl and that he had acted alone. He said Parker told him “the police would have the truth once they found Shaylyn’s body and the DNA with it.”

Parker allegedly told his stepfather that he raped Shaylyn in his vehicle before smothering her with a cloth. He then poured bleach on himself and Shaylyn’s body in an attempt to destroy DNA evidence, then burned Shaylyn’s pajamas, pacifier and Winnie the Pooh blanket. He told his stepfather he thought he could frame the girl’s uncle for the crime.

Shaylyn’s body was found where Parker told them it would be, and an autopsy would reveal the last moments of her life were as painful as they were terrifying. Shaylyn had been beaten, raped, smothered and strangled. Forensic pathologist Dr. Donna Stewart, who performed the autopsy, said this was the worst case of sexual trauma she had seen in her career.

Parker was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping, rape, child molesting, aggravated battery, strangulation, obstruction of justice and failure to report a dead body. On Monday he appeared in court via video and entered a plea of not guilty. His trial is currently set for Aug. 10.

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