(TERRE HAUTE, Ind.) -- Two guards at an Indiana prison have been fired after a man serving a life sentence for molesting and murdering a 10-year-old southern Indiana had the girl's name forcibly tattooed on his forehead by other inmates.
Anthony Ray Stockelman, 39, was placed in protective custody last weekend after authorities discovered the tattoo reading "Katie's Revenge," said Rich Larsen, spokesman for the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Ind.
Stockelman was sentenced to life in prison in March after pleading guilty to abducting, molesting and killing Katlyn "Katie" Collman. The Crothersville girl was missing for five days before her body was found Jan. 30, 2005, in a creek about 15 miles from her home midway between Indianapolis and Louisville.
A photo of what is identified as Stockelman's forehead and eyes appeared on a crime blog called "Lost In Lima Ohio" that focuses on news reports about crimes against children and women.
Stockelman's tattoo, which covers nearly his entire forehead, has "KATIE'S" in large letters and "REVENGE" below in smaller letters.
The blogger, a mother of three in Lima, Ohio, told The Associated Press that she received the photograph in an e-mail Saturday. The accompanying text said the picture was of Stockelman and that the tattoo had been given to him against his will while prison officials were moving inmates in the cell block.
She said the e-mail also claimed a distant relative of Katie's who also is incarcerated at the prison about 30 miles south of Terre Haute had had given Stockelman the tattoo. She said it was not clear how many were involved in the assault.
The woman, who uses the name Lilo, declined to give her full name, saying she has received repeated threats from those she writes about on her blog.
Tattoos are against state prison regulations, but inmates often fashion crude tattoo instruments with plastic utensils and needles.
Prison officials would not confirm the account of how Stockelman was tattooed but said an inmate has been identified as a suspect in the assault.
Two prison guards also have been fired for making "unauthorized copies of an evidence photo," Larsen said. The Associated Press left telephone messages seeking comment for the guards, Robert Woods and Teresa Seifert Siders.
The tattoo is the latest twist in a case that prompted a worldwide outpouring for Katie.
Investigators interviewed Stockelman soon after Katie disappeared because he matched the description of a man seen with her that day. Police dismissed him as a suspect when a lie-detector test was inconclusive and another man confessed.
Charles "Chuckie" Hickman, a 20-year-old Crothersville resident, confessed to having been involved in the girl's death. Hickman told police he killed the girl after she discovered a methamphetamine operation.
Police and prosecutors later dismissed Hickman's confession as false after Indiana State Police linked Stockelman to Katie's death through DNA evidence. They have never said why Hickman confessed to a crime he did not commit.
Efforts to reach Katie's family were unsuccessful Thursday. Her father, John Neace, told Indianapolis television station WTHR on Wednesday that he believed the tattoo was the work of other inmates.
"I'd say it's a statement from the inmates," he said.
Neace said he heard about the tattoo from friends and has no idea whether his daughter's distant cousin played any role.
In her blog, Lilo said it was difficult to denounce the attack on Stockelman.
"I imagine that Katie could have been my child, my sister, my childhood friend. And when I think that -- I can't get to the point where I'm suppose (sic) to condemn them for their actions."
But she urged readers to remember that Katie's family and friends tried to create good after her death by building a playground as a tribute to the girl.
"Those that loved her took their grief and used it to create something beautiful, something inspired by the love they have for her. I think it's important to share that. To remind everyone that evil doesn't always breed more evil, and that sometimes out of the most horrific pain comes the most endearing tributes."
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