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FBI now involved in case of missing Spencer girl as massive search effort continues

SPENCER, Ind. (March 24, 2016) – The search for a missing Owen County girl stretched into a second day Thursday as hundreds of people looked for any sign of the 1-year-old.

Picture of Shaylyn Ammerman

Picture of Shaylyn Ammerman

During a Thursday afternoon briefing, Sgt. Curt Durnil said the massive search for 14-month-old Shaylyn Ammerman 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.

Rain made search efforts more difficult Thursday, but Durnil said search teams wouldn’t be deterred. He also said two or three polygraph tests were administered Thursday, including one for the girl’s father. Durnil said investigators were worried about her.

“A child is missing, and the house where the child is missing from is right over the White River,” Durnil said. “We’re not leaving any stone unturned in this case.

“She’s been missing over 24 hours. We’re worried. It’s not good right now.”

Durnil said the search “won’t end until we find Shaylyn.” No arrests have been made, although Durnil said there were seven to ten persons of interest that investigators wanted to talk to. He also clarified that the case didn’t meet criteria for an Amber Alert because there was no vehicle or suspect description available.

Investigators said Shaylyn was last seen at her father’s home in the 400 block of West Jefferson Street in Spencer Tuesday night. Search efforts expanded Thursday.

"This morning we’ve got several agencies out in Spencer in the Owen County area that are teaming up,” Chris Fears with Indiana State Police said earlier in the day. “We’ve got a wave that’s already gone out, and we’re getting ready to send out a second wave of searchers.”

Fears said several agencies were involved in the search across the county as they anticipated a rainy day.

“We’ve got Vigo County search and rescue coming in to assist us with some dogs. Our understanding is that (the rain) won’t affect them too much,” Fears said.

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 believes someone entered through the front door of the house and kidnapped her.

“Either somebody has a really, really big grudge over us or something, because I don’t see anybody in this town ever doing something like this,” Ammerman said. “Whoever has my daughter, return her please.”

Stewart does not believe his story.

“He shows really no emotion. That is why I think that he is hiding something and I know when he is lying,” said Stewart.

“I don’t honestly think that he would hurt her purposely, I think he would not know what to do if it happened,” said Shaylyn’s grandmother Carol Stewart.

Shaylyn was reported missing to authorities in Owen County around 9 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators also served multiple search warrants in connection to this case.

Shaylyn is 20 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes, and she was last seen wearing a white zip-up onesie with owls on it and a purple pacifier clipped on. She also had a blue and white Winnie the Pooh blanket.

If you have any information on Shaylyn’s whereabouts please call Indiana State Police at the Bloomington Post at (812) 332-4411.

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