Missing Indiana Toddler's Body Identified, Death Ruled Homicide

Police on Tot's Death: Case 'Just Getting Started' 1:24

An Indiana medical examiner on Friday identified a child's body discovered Thursday as that of a toddler who disappeared two days earlier, and made a preliminary finding that her death was a homicide.

An autopsy by the State of Kentucky Medical Examiners Office found a preliminary cause of death for Shaylyn Ammerman was homicide by asphyxiation, the Owen County Coroner's Office said.

Police on Thursday arrested Kyle Parker, 22, in conjunction with her death. Owen County Prosecutor Donald VanDerMoere said Friday that charges have not yet been determined, but "the hope is that by Monday we will be in a position to make appropriate charging decisions."

"Please don't feel like because we've found a body and we've made an arrest that this case is anywhere near over," Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil told reporters Thursday. "This case is just getting started."

Shaylyn was at her father's home in Spencer Tuesday and the family put her to bed at around 10:30 p.m. and checked on her again at midnight. By morning she was missing, the toddler's grandmother told NBC station WTHR.

A large search involving local and state police was launched, and the child's body was found in a rural area northeast of Gosport Thursday, state police said.

Parker was at the home the night of the disappearance, police and family members told the station, but any role he may have played in the case has not been released. Durnil said investigators are still gathering information in the case.

"Everything that we have at our disposal we will use to bring those that are responsible for this little girl's death to justice," Durnil said.