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APNewsBreak: Toddler shot in head improving

CINCINNATI (AP) — A 14-month-old Ohio girl shot in the head last week in attack that left her pregnant mother dead is now talking and improving daily, the toddler's grandfather said Tuesday as investigators vowed to get justice for the family.

David Dodson, 49, told The Associated Press that his granddaughter Aubree has been asking for her mother as she begins a long road to recovery.

The family hasn't yet told Aubree that her mother, 22-year-old Brittany Stykes, is dead.

Authorities were responding to a call last Wednesday night about a single-vehicle crash when they found Stykes, who was five months pregnant, shot to death inside her car along U.S. Route 68 in Ripley, 45 miles southeast of Cincinnati. Aubree was still strapped to her car seat, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head.

"She's asking for her mommy and she's doing a lot better," Dodson said. "She knows her mother is not with us, she just doesn't know where or why."

Dodson said he and the entire family are completely overwrought by the deaths of Stykes and her unborn child.

"I had to sit and pick out two caskets," he said.

Stykes and the baby will be laid to rest after a funeral at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Salt Air Church of Christ in Tate, just southwest of Bethel. The public is invited.

Brown County sheriff's officials have not released a suspected motive or announced any arrests in the case.

"We're not going to speculate, there's a lot of different possibilities," Chief Deputy John Schadle said Tuesday. "We're trying to rule out some things and rule in other things ... We're going to play our cards pretty close to our vest."

He urged anyone with information about the crime to contact authorities.

"We're not going to leave any stone unturned to get justice for Brittany and her family," Schadle said.

Dodson said the family, including Stykes' husband, Shane Stykes, have no idea why anyone would have wanted to kill Stykes and her daughter.

Stykes didn't work and spent her days with her parents while Shane worked his factory job in Cincinnati, Dodson said, adding that all his daughter could talk about recently was how excited she was for her new baby to arrive.

"She couldn't wait," he said. "She was a super mother."

 

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