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Stranger Sought In Girl's Abduction, Death

Published: Jan. 30, 2005 at 9:38 PM CST|Updated: May. 20, 2005 at 10:38 AM CDT
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Katlyn "Katie" Collman
Katlyn "Katie" Collman

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

UPDATE, TUES, 6:00 AM: Police anxiously await toxicology reports in the death of a ten-year-old Crothersville girl.

Katlyn "Katie" Collman went missing last Tuesday. She was on her way home from an errand, when police believe she accepted a ride from a strange man in a truck.

Her body was discovered in a stream north of Seymour, Indiana on Sunday.

Police are looking for a thin, white male in his early twenties. He's thought to be between five-foot-nine and six-foot-three, with short dark hair. He was driving a white Ford F-150 pickup truck the day Katie disappeared.

This is the first time since Indiana's Amber Alert system began two years ago, that the child being sought has been found dead.

UPDATE, MON, 9:30 AM: For the first time since Indiana's Amber Alert system was started two years ago, the child being sought has been found dead.

A state trooper found the body of Katlyn "Katie" Collman of Crothersville in a stream Sunday, five days after she disappeared and three days after an Amber Alert was issued for her.

Police are still searching for a suspect, a young man seen driving Collman in a pickup truck.

Crothersville Police Chief Norman Ford says he requested an alert Tuesday night, but the case didn't meet all the criteria. The alert was sent out once authorities had a description of the man seen with the girl and of the pickup truck a witness said he was driving.

State police say Indiana's 20 previous Amber Alert notifications led to the missing children being found alive.

UPDATE, MON, 5:20 AM: An autopsy is scheduled Monday on the body of a ten-year-old Crothersville girl, who was the southern Indiana community's first murder victim in 25 years.

A state trooper found the body of Katlyn "Katie" Collman in a stream Sunday, five days after she vanished. Collman had walked to a store to buy toilet paper, and was last seen alive about a block from her home.

Police haven't said how the Crothersville girl died, or how long her body may have been in the stream, about 20 miles north of her hometown.

Collman's body was found three days after authorities issued an Amber Alert.

Police say they have leads in the case and have issued a composite sketch of a young man seen driving Collman in a pickup truck.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information in the case.

Previously: A missing child is found dead in Indiana, ending a nearly week-long search for the ten-year old girl.

Authorities say a state trooper on routine patrol Sunday found the body of ten-year-old Katlyn "Katie" Collman.

State police Sergeant Jerry Goodin says Katie's body was in a stream in a wooded area near Seymour, which is about 15 miles north of her hometown Crothersville.

Goodin says details of Katie's death aren't released, and an autopsy is set for Monday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Authorities say Katie went missing on Tuesday while coming home from an errand.

Police say Katie apparently accepted a ride from a man in a truck, while returning from the errand.

Authorities Friday released a composite sketch of the man they believe abducted Katie. Telephone tips came in from the sketch, but none provided solid information.

Hundreds of people had searched for the girl, and neighbors say they're heart-broken.

One neighbor commented,

"It's very emotional and really hard because it's coming to an end and it wasn't the ending we wanted."

Sgt. Jerry Goodin, Indiana State Police, said, "This is deeply, deeply saddening for the law enforcement officials and we send our deepest regrets and thoughts go out to Katie's family. Her extended family also in this time of tragedy and uh.. we've come to know Katie even though a lot of people didn't know her personally, we've come to know her."

Authorities are offering a ten-thousand dollar reward for information regarding the abduction and death of Katie.

(Portions of this story courtesy AP)