Throughout the afternoon and evening, hundreds filed into Christian Life Center here, most leaving with wet eyes and their faces buried in the arms of a friend or loved one.
When Shaylyn's father, Justin Ammerman, would step outside to smoke, a family member or friend often would accompany him to provide some comfort while he took pulls from his cigarette.
One man, who said he worked with Shaylyn's maternal grandfather at a dump truck company, drove more than 50 miles from Indianapolis to pay his respects. He said he had never met the child but knew how torn up her grandfather was and thought coming for her funeral was the right thing to do.
Shaylyn's body was found March 24 next to a tree in an isolated, rural patch of land where the White River and Indian Creek meet, just outside of Gosport, Ind. She had been suffocated and badly bruised, an autopsy showed.
Kyle Parker, 22, of Spencer has been charged with rape, murder, child molesting, kidnapping and other counts in connection with Shaylyn's death. Prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty.
On Wednesday, Parker was put on suicide watch and isolated in a padded cell in a sleeping bag for suicidal inmates. Owen County jail officials said he is on constant video surveillance and staff is checking on him every 15 minutes.
Ammerman, whose brother had invited Parker to come over to drink and watch movies, has faced vitriolic comments from strangers on the Facebook page where he shared photographs of his daughter and posted information about her funeral.
On Tuesday, he posted a note to “all the haters out there,” asking them to leave him and his family alone. He asked for the harassment to stop.
On Wednesday, Ammerman spent four hours greeting friends and family at Shaylyn's visitation. Her funeral followed immediately afterward.
Law-enforcement officers from the Indiana State Police, Owen County Sheriff's Office and Spencer Police Department — who had spent two days searching for Shaylyn before Parker gave them an idea of where her body lay — were given a private viewing earlier in the day, State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil said.
After the funeral, attendees waited outside in the rain for the Shaylyn's casket to be loaded into a hearse and taken for a private burial.