Cause of death determined for missing Indiana toddler, suspect ‘not talking’

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SPENCER, Ind. -- An Indiana sheriff says a 22-year-old man being held in connection with the disappearance of a 1-year-old girl isn't talking.

Owen County Sheriff Leonard Sam Hobbs said Friday that there are still many unanswered questions in the case.

Kyle Parker, 22, of Spencer, was arrested Thursday on preliminary charges of obstruction of justice, failure to report a dead body and unlawful disposition of a dead body. He's jailed and hasn't been formally charged.

Authorities found the body of a toddler that matches the description of Shaylyn Ammerman on Thursday night near the White River near Gosport, which is about 40 miles southwest of Indianapolis. She was last seen around midnight Tuesday at her father's Spencer home.

WXIN reports that an autopsy performed Friday revealed the toddler died from asphyxiation, and her death was ruled a homicide.

Parker's criminal history began within the last few years. He's faced drug charges and criminal trespassing charges. He's not been charged with any violent crimes.

Police emphasized there are several persons of interest still in the case.

"Let me be really frank here. Please don’t feel like because we’ve found a body and we’ve made an arrest that this case is anywhere near over. This case is just getting started with more interviews, with more investigative tactics with everything that we have at our disposal we will use to bring those who are responsible for this little girl’s death to justice," said ISP Sgt. Curt Durnil.

Shaylyn’s father, Justin Ammerman, told police his mother put the child down for bed just before midnight and when he woke up Tuesday morning his daughter was gone.

According to Shaylyn’s mother, Jessica Stewart, the girl’s father was having a party Tuesday evening. Justin Ammerman says that’s not true and he claimed someone entered through the front door of the house and kidnapped her.

Continuing coverage here.