Crime

Missing girl found dead in Whitley County, man charged in connection with her disappearance

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Department released this image of Kayly Lockaby and Skyler Barnett before Kayly was found dead on Friday in Whitley County.
The Laurel County Sheriff’s Department released this image of Kayly Lockaby and Skyler Barnett before Kayly was found dead on Friday in Whitley County.

A 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing by a foster parent was found dead in Whitley County on Friday, and a 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with her disappearance.

Kayly Lockaby’s body was found Friday night off Bee Creek Road in Whitley County, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department.

Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley said an autopsy was conducted Saturday in Frankfort. He said there was no anatomical evidence of a traumatic injury that could have caused Kayly’s death. Toxicology results are pending and should be known within a few weeks, he said.

Kayly was last seen at about 4:30 a.m. July 26, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department. She was thought to have been in the company of Skyler Barnett, the sheriff’s office said, before she was found dead. A warrant had been issued for Barnett’s arrest, charging him with harboring a runaway.

Croley said deputies from the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department were serving a warrant at Barnett’s home when they found Kayly’s body as they came through the woods around the residence.

Croley said he pronounced Kayly dead at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

Barnett, whose address is listed as Corbin, was arrested Friday and was being held Saturday in the Whitley County Detention Center on charges of unlawful transaction with a minor, heroin possession and buying or possessing drug paraphernalia, according to the jail’s website.

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