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Man describes finding woman, infant daughter after Brown County shooting

Posted at 6:28 PM, Sep 03, 2013
and last updated 2015-09-23 14:28:21-04

CINCINNATI -- Craig Labell missed a turn on a road trip and will never be the same.

"To open that car door…I'm gonna' be honest, I plan to seek out treatment," Labell said about discovering the body of pregnant mother Brittany Stykes and her injured 14-month-old daughter Aubree.

Labell spoke to the I-Team's Jason Law on the phone from Charlotte, N.C., where he lives.

The 50-year-old was driving with his wife from Lexington to New York when he said he missed a turn onto U.S. Route 62 in Brown County.

Labell said he ended up on U.S. Route 68 and noticed headlights coming from a wooded area off the road.

"It struck me," Labell said on seeing the Jeep off in the woods, "I wanted to know more. I told my wife, 'I want to go back and see if anybody needs help back there.'"

He said the vehicle looked to be about 200 feet off the road.

"It was caddy corner, like it came down into the woods at an angle…into the trees 75 feet or so," he said.

When he walked down the embankment, Labell said he could hear the engine running and the windshield wipers moving.

At this point, Labell said he thought Stykes may have had a medical condition and crashed the Jeep.

He tried to wake her up.

"I shook her leg," he said. "I was yelling at her to try and get a response. I had to shut the vehicle off."

Stykes did not move. He didn't discover 14-month-old Aubree until he checked the passenger side door.

"She was saying 'mama.' She was crying for mama, but it was more of a whimper," Labell said. "There was a lot of blood. I could not see a physical wound [on Aubree], just a lot of blood," he said.

Labell can be heard talking to the toddler on the 911 call.

Labell's wife remained on the road and watched about 10 vehicles drive by.

Investigators asked if any cars had passed by more than once, but Labell said his wife didn't notice any.

The couple spoke with Brown County Sheriff's Office investigators but Labell doesn't know how the car ended up so far off the road.

"I'm wondering if she was shot somewhere else and tried to drive away," Labell said when asked about his theory on what happened. "I just want them to catch the killer."

No arrests have been made. Aubree's father Shane Stykes told 9 On Your Side Friday the toddler was "improving" but would probably remain in Children's Hospital for some time.

A funeral for Stykes and her unborn child is scheduled to be held Wednesday.