Skyler Kauffmanskylerkauffman

Skyler Kauffman was described as having a super personality and always smiling. Skyler lived in Souderton, Pennsylvania. Skyler was out playing with her friends in a parking lot. That was the last time Skyler would be seen alive. Skyler did not come home for dinner and her family got worried. The more time went by the more concerned they grew. They called the local police who issued an Amber Alert. While searching for her the police came across the basement of the apartment Skyler lived. There they found blood and her boots along with a trial of blood leading to a dumpster. Skyler was found inside wrapped in a blanket. Detectives say Skyler was beaten, raped, and then strangled. Skyler fought hard against her attacker.


UPDATE: James Lee Troutman told police he knew he had to kill Skyler Kauffman after taking her to the apartment complex basement, since he knew he'd be in trouble. Following the murder, he had a quiet dinner with his fiancee while the cops searched for Skyler.


9-year-old Skyler Kauffman was out playing with friends at her apartment building in Souderton, Pennsylvania. When she didn't come home for dinner, her parents grew worried. And they became really worried the later it got, so they called police.

The cops arrived and issued an Amber Alert. They began to search the area.

She had been last seen wearing a yellow Justin Bieber T-shirt and playing with her friends in the parking lot at around 5:30.

Police eventually found blood and her boots in the basement of the complex. And the trail of blood led them to a dumpster not far away, where she was found dead and wrapped in a blanket.

Detectives say the murder scene indicates that Skyler was savagely beaten during a sexual assault, and that there was a violent struggle as she tried to fight back.

Skyler was raped, strangled and had her head bashed against the basement floor.

When police began going door to door, they became suspicious of a 40-year-old neighbor who seemed to be responding strangely to their questions. They went back to interview him a second time and noticed blood on his clothes.

The man was taken into custody, and police say he's cooperating. However, his name has not been released, since he has yet to be formally charged.

Neighbors say Skyler and the man were involved in an incident just two weeks before. The girl was seen running away from the suspect's apartment screaming and crying. Police have confirmed the incident, but they won't say what happened or if anything was done. We'll keep you posted. (Special thanks to reader NY Mommy for the tip.)

UPDATE: Skyler was raped, strangled and beaten to death.

James Lee Troutman first became a suspect when he behaved suspiciously when police went door-to-door looking for Skyler. So police followed up with a second visit. That's when they saw what appeared to be blood on his shoe.

A search of his apartment unveiled bloody clothes in his bedroom. Troutman eventually confessed strangling Skyler and bashing her head on the floor of the basement multiple times. He told police that he "snapped."

He'd moved into the complex just a few months before with his fiancee. She told police that she'd heard screaming and crying about 5:45 on Monday. So she called Troutman, who returned home just after 6, claiming he'd been exercising.

It wasn't his first encounter with the Skyler. Three weeks before, he'd invited Skyler and a friend into his house to use the bathroom. But when the girls found naked pictures of women hanging from the walls, they freaked out.

Troutman asked the girls if they wanted to see his "bird." We're not sure if there was an actual bird or he was using it in the suggestive sense, but the girls noticed that he'd locked the apartment door behind them. So they fled the apartment.

Police responded to the call, but Troutman was never charged anything, since it didn't appear that he'd committed a crime, he wasn't considered a threat, and had no criminal history. The cops won't discuss the incident.

Skyler's mom was told about the call, but it doesn't seem anything was done. The girls continued to play outside, and it doesn't appear that any man in the building had a come-to-Jesus meeting with Troutman, as God would have appreciated.

At around 5 p.m. Monday, Troutman told his fiancee, Heather Clemens, that he was going outside to play video games on his cell phone. It wasn't long before Heather began to hear a female voice screaming "no" and the banging sound of what seemed as if someone was being thrown to the floor.

Heather called Troutman on the phone. He claimed he had gone to a nearby football field/track to exercise. In the meantime, he was busy killing Skyler and throwing her body in a dumpster.

He came home muddy and bloody, but Heather apparently didn't notice the blood. Troutman told her he'd gotten dirty while exercising. So he showered and then had a quiet dinner with his fiancee. Police would later find his bloody clothes in the hamper.

He told police that once he took Skyler to the basement, he had to kill her to avoid getting in trouble. Just three weeks before, he'd been accused of locking Skyler and another girl in his apartment. But Troutman would tell police that was all a misunderstanding.

He says Skyler's friend accidentally locked herself in the bathroom, then panicked and started yelling. But when the cops came around, Skyler's mother, Heather Gebhard, says they "blew off" her concerns that a creep was lurking in the apartment complex.

Police won't talk about the original incident, no doubt worried about the inevitable lawsuit to come.

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