Courtesy of Spalding County Sheriff's Department
SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. -- The Spalding County Sheriff's Department has made an arrest in the murder death of 9-year-old Skylar Dials.
According to Sheriff Wendell Beam, Shane Clifton Collett, 40, of Griffin, was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping and concealing a death. Collett is being held in the Spalding County jail without bond. He was taken in for questioning a few hours after Dials' body was found in the woods around 2 am Saturday. She was only a few hundred yeards from her own house.
"It's a tragedy," Beam said. "It makes it worse here at Christmas but it would be sad anytime. We just ask that all of the citizens keep the family in their prayers, and keep your own kids close."
Collett lives next door to the Dials in the home of his girlfriend's father. The GBI said his girlfriend has a daughter the same age as Dials, and the two were playmates.
Deputies say the child left her house Friday afternoon to visit the playmate's house. A few hours later, the family went to the neighbor's house, but Skylar wasn't there. That kicked off a search involving law enforcement, neighbors and volunteers.
Sheriff Beam says the investigation is ongoing. The GBI said Dials had contact with Collett Friday. An autopsy to determine the cause of death was performed Saturday with results to be released in the coming weeks.