SPENCER, Ind. – Mourners joined family members at a visitation ahead of the funeral Wednesday evening for an Indiana toddler who was found slain last week after police say she was abducted from her father’s home.
The parking lot of the Christian Life Center in Spencer was filled as the visitation began for 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman. Her funeral was to be followed by a private burial.
The girl’s father, Justin Ammerman, embraced visitors as they arrived. Many of the mourners donned purple ribbons, Shaylyn’s favorite color.
Several police officers were present outside the visitation after reports surfaced on social media that someone might try to disrupt it, WTHR-TV reported.
“If someone’s here to make their statement known, they’re more than welcome to say it out here in public, but as far as inside that church, we’re going to let the family grieve,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil said.
Prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Kyle Parker of Spencer with murder, rape, kidnapping and other counts in connection with Shaylyn’s death. Authorities say Parker drank whiskey with the girl’s uncle and then waited until the family fell asleep before abducting the toddler. Her body was found in a remote, wooded location after two days of searching.
A judge has ordered Parker jailed without bond and entered a not guilty plea for him. The Owen County Jail was holding him in solitary confinement and on a suicide watch, standard practice when a person faces charges “of this magnitude” and until he can be evaluated by medical professionals, Assistant Jail Commander Marjie Ryan said.