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Shaylyn Ammerman: "God just needed a little angel"

"Just a happy, bouncing baby girl. She loved to dance." Shaylyn Ammerman's family is mourning her loss as police investigate the one-year-old's death.
Shaylyn Ammerman

The family of an Owen County toddler found dead Thursday is learning how she died. 

Shaylyn Ammerman's body was discovered in a rural area a day after she was reported missing from her Spencer home.  A Louisville medical examiner determined the 15-month-old girl was asphyxiated, and the Owen County coroner ruled her death a homicide.

Investigators spent the entire day searching the wooded river banks where they found Shaylyn early Thursday night. 

"I am devastated and heartbroken," said Justin Ammerman, Shaylyn's father.

Police find body of missing Spencer toddler Shaylyn Ammerman; cause of death was asphyxiation
He was at a loss for words.
"My biggest concern is getting answers, finding out why this man did this. A man that I trusted," Ammerman said.

Police arrested 22-year-old Kyle Parker, a family friend. He remains jailed on preliminary charges of obstructing justice, failure to report a dead body and improper disposal of a corpse. He slept over at the family's home the Tuesday night Shaylyn disappeared 
"He was gone when I woke up. I woke up, went to Shaylyn's bed. She was not there," said Ammerman.
Local and state police launched a massive two day search. Hundreds of officers scoured the neighborhood and rural woods, fields, creeks and rivers. Information gathered from what police call "persons of interest" led them to a private road in a secluded area. Near Gosport, ten miles from home, searchers found Shaylyn.

Man facing preliminary charges in Shaylyn Ammerman case has criminal past

Now her family is left to mourn.
"Just a happy, bouncing baby girl. She loved to dance," said Tamera Morgan, Shaylyn's grandmother.
Shaylyn was Tamera Morgan's first granddaughter
"God just needed a little angel. She has gorgeous blue eyes. She is dancing up in the clouds right now," said Morgan.

A candlelight vigil was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Friday (March 25) at Cooper Park in Spencer. Family of God Church Pastor Ben Lopassa will lead prayers.

The church posted on its Facebook page, "In this time of sorrow we feel it is important to come together in prayer for comfort and peace, and to support one another. Many of us did not know this precious little girl personally.. But our hearts are broken over such a tragedy."