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Missing Indiana toddler Shaylyn Ammerman found dead, suspect arrested

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SPENCER, Ind. — It's every parent's unthinkable nightmare — waking up in the morning to find an empty crib and no trace of the child that should be tucked under the small covers.

It's that nightmare that launched a massive search in Indiana after toddler Shaylyn Ammerman vanished without a trace, and, on Thursday, police made a grisly discovery — her body had been found in a remote area located near the White River, northeast of Gosport, Indiana.

Police arrested a suspect in the case, 22-year-old Kyle Parker, also of Spencer. It's not yet clear what relationship he may have had to the family. His charges are pending.

Little Shaylyn, just 15-months-old, was last seen fast asleep in her crib after her mother put her down Tuesday night.

Various law enforcement agencies have been searching for the toddler since she was reported missing Wednesday morning. She was last seen at the home where her father and grandmother live, on the 400 block of West Jefferson Street in Spencer.

During a Thursday afternoon briefing, Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil said the massive search for the 14-month-old girl included search dogs, cadaver dogs, sonar and personnel from multiple law enforcement agencies. He also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in the case.

Shaylyn’s father, Justin Ammerman, told police his mother put the child down for bed just before midnight Tuesday 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. Ammerman says that’s not true and he claimed someone entered through the front door of the house and kidnapped her.