Suspect Charged In Murder Of 9-Year-Old Souderton Girl

SOUDERTON, Pa. (CBS) – A 24-year-old Souderton man is being held without bail on first degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault charges in connection with the murder of his nine-year-old neighbor.

Montgomery County district attorney Risa Vetri Ferman says James Troutman was arrested after a detective noticed what appeared to be blood on Troutman’s shoes.

“As we were searching for her, one of our detectives came across a man here who had what appeared to be blood on his shoes,” said Vetri Ferman. “The detective, who is a trained crime scene investigator, took note of what appeared to be a substance. It was that sighting and discovery that led police to begin to question that individual.”

According to court documents, Troutman told detectives he used his hands to choke Skyler Kauffman to death in the basement of the apartment building at Second and Chestnut Streets.

He told police, “it was like a white-out and he snapped.”

After he allegedly murdered her, court documents show, he told police he put Skyler’s body in a dumpster.

Authorities say the girl’s family reported her missing Monday night after she didn’t return home from playing with friends in the parking of her apartment complex. That is when the investigation began.

Story continues below…

soudertonaptskyler Suspect Charged In Murder Of 9 Year Old Souderton Girl

A Souderton police car parked outside the scene of the murder of 9-year-old Skyler Kauffman. credit: Jim Melwert

An Amber Alert was issued and as the evening wore on, the search intensified. Police say they found evidence of a struggle in the basement of the apartment complex where she lived. Not long after, her body was found wrapped in cloth in a dumpster, just outside of the building.

Souderton Police Chief James Leary says that during the investigation, police started interviewing a man who lives in that same apartment complex and gathered an overwhelming amount of physical evidence against the suspect.

“The child obviously struggled and as a result of that, she lost her life,” Leary says. “We have recovered evidence at the scene that we will be able to link to the perpetrator.”

“It appears from everything that we know that the crime took place very quickly and the body was disposed of very quickly and I can’t say there was anything anyone else could have done that would have been able to prevent this tragic event,” said Vetri Ferman.

Watch The Latest Video Report

Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3; Brad Segall, Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060

Top Content On CBSPhilly

More from Jim Melwert

One Comment

  1. rickboy says:

    If this was 10 rears earlier Troutman would be hanging from a tree by now

    1. rickboy says:

      i meant 100 years

  2. dmac says:

    and on top of that says the police should be in the babysitting business

    1. Kim says:

      If the police would have found a bag of coke in his apt he would have been arrested

    2. Donna says:

      For dmac, yes the police have a responsibility here. They are not in the babysitting buissness, however they ARE responsible for protecting the public from these freaks. This is thier PAID job! More should have been done after the first incident. Also, why didnt they knock on his door immediately when Skylar went missing? I am sure the parents and the police wish they would of done things differently. But to excuse the police completely for thier neglagence ? I dont think so. You must be a cop.

  3. dmac says:

    if the mother would have been supervising her daughter,she would be here today,who give their child free rein over a whole apartment complex

    1. Mary H. says:

      Completely agree with you dmac. So sad. She would be here today and why didn’t the mother or grandmother supervise her KNOWING what they knew about this man lurking around and what he had done just weeks before? Did they forget? Where were they and why did she have free rein the the apartment complex for hours. She didn’t show up for dinner? Who let’s a 9 year old little girl run unsupervised like that.?

    2. Gisele says:

      I agree! she could have still been alive if her mother kept an I eye on her daughter…especially after the girl told her mother about the incident before. such a shame…

  4. DISGUSTED says:

    He makes me sick. Doing such nasty things to an innocent nine-year-old girl. Mr. Troutman, I hope you rot in jail. That’s EXACTLY what you deserve. I can’t imagine the grief her poor parents are going through. It’s truley heartwrenching. Where were the police when this man locked Skyler and her buddy in his apartment? Taking another “donut break”?! And, by the way, “neighbor”, you are a mean soul. Every little girl has an “attidute problem” from time to time. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good kids. Don’t you DARE act like your perfect…

    1. Yup says:

      Rotting in jail is too good for him. I hope he’s repeatedly gang raped, and I hope he’s kept alive so he can suffer the torture daily.

  5. Chelsea says:

    You here about missing girls or murders on the news, but you never think it would happen in your own town. This is to close to home, and very upsetting, Skyler you are in a better place now, and I hope that man get what he deserves. He is perverted and sick.

  6. GIdge says:

    Children r sooo innosent ….what is this world coming too. Skyler u r in a better place now ..away from all the bad. you have been in my prayers and thoughts everyday. Including your family. i cant even imgine what u went through. living in this area some people think its so safe to have your kids play unattended. Just telling them dont go too far or peeking out the window every 20 min is not the way to be these days. Times have change and people r sick in the head. I teach 20 children a day and when they’re parents drop them off i have a huge responsibility to keep them safe. God has a better place for u now skyler may u rest in peace <3 <3 <3

  7. SV says:

    I can’t figure out how the police thought it was okay to let a man off the hook who had tried to lock two girls into his apartment and try to expose himself???? Really? This entire apt complex should have been put on high alert until the man’s computer and apartment was searched. As far as the parents, I’m really big on parental responsibility but this was the girl’s home….the weather is beautiful…kids go out and play together all the time at their own apartment. I don’t think this was a case of kids being allowed to play in the street…it was just kids playing in their own “yard” (i.e. apartment complex). My only thing is, how did the guy get the girl a second time? Had to have been by force…certainly she would not have voluntarily gone a second time.

    Rest in peace…heartbreaking.

    1. Donna says:

      SV I agree!

  8. heartbroken neighbor says:

    As my heart aches for skylar and her family and i do not wish to point blame I still have to ask myself why is a 9y.o child playing outside unsupervised??? especially after the incident of two wks. ago. I hear alot of people blaming the police dept. As parents it is our job to watch and care for our children. As a parent my child would not have been outside playing unsupervised. RIP skylar.

  9. Lindy says:

    The DA was trying to say that the police officer was very trained and observant of the stains on Troutman’s shoes. Well, if they were so observant, when the girl went missing at 5:30 P dinner time, they should have been all over Troutman and through his apartment and building top and bottom. They didnt find her till 12 M. Two weeks ago the girls were locked in his apt and he asked them if they wanted to see his “BIRD”, ,…those words. The girls were terrified and got out. It was determined he didnt do anything to press charged. How wrong is that!!?? The apt manager should have put him on notice or put he and the girlfriend out. The girlfriend did nothing when she heard the screams from Skyler. I hope the girlfriend hears those screams in her head for the rest of her life. This should have never happened!! The signs were all there. It just didnt have to happen.

  10. miranda says:

    that guy is sick jerk

  11. CHRISTINA says:


  12. Terry says:

    One more reason that the deat penalty should be carried out in PA. My thoughts and prayers go out to Skylar’s family.

  13. ch says:

    death penalty is in pa. in fact gov rendell and the gov before him signed more death warrents than anyother in pa and more than most states. go to the pa state prison page and click the link. they strap you to a table like a animal then give you meds to put you to sleep than give you 3 to 5 more drugs to force you to O.D.

  14. grumpy says:

    Sane or insane , there should be NO excuses for avoiding the death penalty in these types of crimes. Cold blooded murder is cold blooded murder the result= DEATH PENALTY. Bring it back to PA. now!

  15. Large says:

    should send this sick guy to China, let them take care him.

  16. Julius May says:

    That guy is a jerk!

  17. Bobbyb says:

    Electric Chair! Lethal Injection is too humane for this excrement.

  18. Jeff says:

    Agree with Jane Doe. PA needs to start using the death penalty like texas. I hope he has a slow painful death! POS

  19. Linda R says:

    This is a horrible tragedy and should never have happened. I am so sorry for little Skylar’s parents and family. I am glad they got the killer but nothing will ever remove this nightmare from the family. How sad and heartbreaking! I get sick just thinking about the last few moments this girl went thru- imagine her terror and pain! You wouldn’t want this to happen to ANY child nor any adult for that matter. I hope there is a quick trial and conviction and this murderer gets what he deserves. No excuses. No insanity plea. He deserves a cold-blooded sentence for his evil crime. I just can’t believe someone would do this to a child.

  20. Murphy says:

    Death penalty please.

    1. Lou Salvatore says:

      I can’t even begin to imagine what Skyler’s parents are feeling right now. My thoughts and prayers go out to Skyler and her family. I hope this POS burns in hell!!!!!

    2. Penn says:

      I live on Summit Street close the police station and know Officer Moore personally as a confidant. I have to say this is the most heartbreaking event to hear aside from the stabbing at the basketball courts near Souderton. For someone who is mentally unstable to kill and deprive a child’s life. Most serial killers usually have a emotional and physically abused at a young age and they grow up to become cold and senseless to other living things.

  21. Souderton Resident says:

    I was told there is a candlelight vigil for Skylar tonight at the courthouse in Souderton – across the street from her apartment. Starting at 7 pm – bring your own candles.

    1. Souderton Resident says:

      Vigil will be held at 203 Chestnut Street in Souderton at 7 pm.

  22. Outraged Mom says:

    I live in a neighborhood where only a few people ever watch their children. We are called over protective parents. And yes I am one of those considered nosy neighbors who watch out for the kids that parents don’t. We have children as young as 5 running the roads by themselves. I hope this is a wake up call to them, no one is safe. I am so sorry to hear about this little girl, and my prayers go out ot the parents. Even shows that when kids are playing together and the parents think they are safe, it takes one psycho to ruin a community.

  23. Keira echevarria says:


    I wish her a happy and safe journey in her next life. Children are pure and need protection. Our police as we see in this case cannot protect our children. I feel a tremendous amount of pain for the parents and even more anger that with all the money we pay for protection the police could not find and save a little girl that was less then 50 yards from her home. They had a chance 2 weeks ago to protect and did nothing as usual. Then she goes missing and and we all get to hear what great police work was done after she is found dead. Good police work 2 weeks earlier and last night and she would still be alive playing today. I found a lost child about a month ago and it took Police 30-45 minutes to show up to help. So please all parents, families and friends we need to protect ourselves and our children the police apparently have better things to do with there time.

    1. c says:

      to Keira: what is the police incident of 2 weeks ago? What is the story here?

      1. Empathy says:

        Me and my 6 year old were driving to pick up dinner and we saw a little boy running in the middle of the road. He was about 2 years old. We stopped and got him. then took him to the closest parking lot which was across the street and called 911. We then waited about 30-45 minutes for an officer to arrive. When he arrived he told us he thought he knew the boys parents and proceeded to tell us they lived about a half mile away and took him home. the officer made it sound like this has happened before which sickens me. Why would you just take him home then. But then after today I see they really do little to fix anything. I believe the police live by the expression ” get in and get out ” but I guess real police work is not in the budget around here. Living where I live in Telford I have called myself when children have been involved in abuse situations and watch the police come and watch them go after a talk with the parents as well. this really seems to be par for the course up here. To everyone out there please watch over our children.

      2. Upset and Sick says:

        Skylar and her friend were locked in this man’s apartment 2 weeks ago for a short period of time. They were able to get the door unlocked but nothing was done about it.

    2. Responsable parent says:

      It is not the Police who need to protect our children it starts with the parents. Our children are our responsibility.

      1. Empathy says:

        I never said the parents are not responsible. But the concerned parent did call for help and nothing was done. So I guess what you are saying is that parents should take the law into there own hands. That is pretty sad and you do not sound like a very responsible parent. You are the one that looks out for your children and worries about no others. Pretty sad to make an excuse for the police not doing there job efficiently or thoroughly.

  24. Robin Pullum says:

    I hope the person that did this to that child enjoys their time in the fiery pits of hell and May GOD have no mercy on their soul!!! To the parents i feel your pain.. I literally feel your pain No words can help you at this time! But God Bless you!

  25. Hatfield Parent says:

    Poor, poor parents. All I can do is pray for your hearts. Take comfort in the fact that your baby is now an angel in Heaven. She will always be near you, Mom, you will feel her Feel her…………

  26. kate says:

    rest in peace little girl– may God give your family strength to handle this. i can’t imagine living a day like this as a mother or grandmother. i think of my own grandchildren and i am sick of the thought of what this child had to endure. let’s all pray for her family, pray to her as she sits with God, and help bring this animal to justice quickly so he can rot in hell where he belongs.

  27. RESIDENT says:


  28. Kim says:

    definitely a shell-shocker for me and my girls as we live a few blocks down the road. Talk about hitting close to home! My daughter was friends with her. I had only gotten to know her in the past month. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Unimaginable!

  29. Concerned mom says:

    My heart and prayers go out to the friends and family of this little girl. I have a 9 year old daughter and a 10 year old son and can’t image the pain they are feeling. Unfortunatley no about of prayers or well wishes really will ease their pain. Every parent should not only hug and kiss their own kids today and every day because they are health and alive, but please talk to your children about telling you where they are going, who they are with, have them check in with you often, and give them a curfew. As parents we need to make it harder for these sick people to get our chidren.

  30. Rachel says:

    I am on the west coast and got the information late last night. I am cetain of one thing that Skylar is sitting at the right hand of God today. I pray that the Lord gives her mother strength to endure this nightmare. Love and prayers form the west coast. When this sick man meets his maker one day, Skylar will be part of his judgement!

  31. Judgie says:

    I’m very glad that the “neighbor’s” ill-thought comment is gone, I just might have let slip to some of the others in the complex, they look like they would handle her sass. It was absolutely terrifying for my pregnant wife, being not 2 blocks away,and I can not even begin to imagine the pain that the family is facing. My heart is broken for their loss, and I can only hope that the wardens turn a blind eye to whatever happens to this guy in prison. I only regret the fact that we all can’t have a few minutes to bring him the same torment.

  32. Jennifer Syzc says:

    Skylar was a member of Brownie Troop 7023 out of Nash Elementary School before she moved to Souderton. My daughter and I came to know Skylar, her mother and her grandmother. We are so saddened and overwhelmed with grief over this horrific act of violence. Skylar was such a strikingly beautiful girl with an amazing outgoing personality. Her engery and pep left a mark on everyone she encountered. This is truly a sad loss.

  33. Lee says:

    I knew this little girl and her family She was bright, outgoing, happy and very friendly. She was always smiling when I saw her. To know she indured such a brutal ending absolutely rips my heart apart. I hope the man that did this to her meets a similar fate in prison!!! I pray for her parents, grandparents and friends. What a tragic loss! How much more sensless can it get???

  34. Cortello says:

    I’m so sorry for their loss. What a horror!

  35. iris says:

    Forgive me, not “the first comment” but to “neighbor.”

  36. Iris says:

    To the first comment: are you for real? Get off your spiritual high horse.

    Many prayers go out to this beautiful girl and her family. May the perp rot in hell!!!!!!!

  37. jack says:

    Dear neighbor,

    What a heartless and gutless comment to head off this! I hope you find comfort hiding behind the anonymity of the ‘net and your clever handle.
    I hope your neighbors share the same respect for you.

  38. neighbor says:

    I live right down the road from this apartment complex, and my daughter was friends with this girl. She was over our apartment a few times, and she didn’t have the most respectful or pleasant of attitudes, as I watched her talk to her mother. I even talked to her about spiritual things and about heaven as she had dinner at my place. Nevertheless, it’s just heartwrenching. Pray for the family and for the children in her school who knew her.

    1. other neighbor says:

      How dare you, neighbor! This little girl was brutally murdered and you are remarking about her attitude? How very Christian of you, indeed. You are an abomination.

    2. Jane Doe says:

      Lady, you are a far cry from a Christian. How dare you make such a comment. You are a sick person. SHAME ON YOU

    3. Denise Scott says:

      You need to examine your heart if the first thought was that she had a poor attitude! Your comments are callous, insensitive, and hurtful, during such a tragedy. Her family and friends are suffering this tragic loss. I have prayed and will continue to pray for the family during this tragic time! What are you thinking? It is by the grace of God it was not your daughter. I don’t know the family or this little girl, but my heart breaks for them.

    4. family friend says:

      I agree with “other neighbor”, you should be ashamed for posting such a comment. This family is completely devastated!
      What kind of horrible human being are you to feel the need to post this comment?
      I ask everyone, no matter your faith, to please pray for this family. thank you.

    5. iris says:

      really?? you’re going to go there today?

      1. NEIGHBOR says:


    6. RickJames says:

      You are a complete and utter moron with no sense of humanity….so cruel. You turn this into a statement about her attitude? She was 9 years old. What’s your excuse for being a heartless idiot? Maybe you should think twice before spewing venom like this.

      Maybe instead of speaking to children about thier spiritual connection, you should look in the mirror and see your own weaknesses

      Do everyone a favor and keep your “condolences” to yourself. The family doesn’t need them. They have plenty from pepple who won’t pass judgement on a defenseless, deceased 9 year old girl.

    7. Char T says:

      @ neighbor ~ It really sickens me that you could make such a comment. You are heartless and uncaring and your are definitely NOT a christian!

    8. Donna says:

      You are an embarrasment to all christians. Your comments are mean, inappropriate, unkind, and have nothing to do do with anything. I am sure your daughter has NEVER disrepected you! How would you feel if she was brutally murdered and a supposed friend made a comment like yours about YOUR daughter? God says Love one another as I have loved you, You will be judged in the matter in which you judge others. You self rightous pompous insensitive christian imposter. How dare you be so heartless! What goes around, comes around! You are one evil lady!

      1. what is wrong with some people says:

        Well said, Donna.

    9. ginger says:

      OMG, I feel sorry for your child (children) she was 9?? I am going to pray for you and your children.I don’t know what awaits us in the hereafter, I have hope. But I pray that God does not judge us as you just did, she was a baby. Are they capable of sin at 9? Please, I seriously think for the sake of your children you need to go talk to someone.

    10. Upset and Sick says:

      This child was an innocent 9 year old little girl whose life was unrightfully taken from her in a brutal and shockingly dreadful way. I am sure your daughter has her horrible moments as does my 10 year old son. But nonetheless, they are children and only once are they aloud to endure the innocence of being one. This poor little girl had that taken from her and you only care that she showed some disrespect to her mother. Show me one child that doesn’t. My goodness, shame on you……

    11. Dan says:

      HEY neighbor, WHAT KIND OF A HUMAN BEING ARE YOU TO POST A NEGATIVE COMMENT ABOUT AN INNOCENT CHILD WHO WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED AND THEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED! YOUR NEGATIVE COMMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DIRECTED AT THE DEGENERATE MONSTER WHO COMMITED THIS HEINOUS CRIME AND NOT THE VICTIM. Nevertheless I pray this monster will be dealt street justice in the penitentiary. As for you neighbor, I’m certain you will get what you deserve with your holier than thou attitude. May this innocent child rest in peace.

      1. Donna says:


    12. Lindy says:

      What a complete MORON you are.. How totally insensitive, non caring and rude of you to make such a comment at a time when the child is murdered. IDIOT!!!

  39. Betsy G. says:

    If you read this and you pray today – pray for these parents, and for a swift and fitting judgment on the killer.

    1. eric wahl says:

      Amen to that!

  40. sheriff says:

    Another POS preying on the weak in an apartment building. If he is the one, then castrate him & let the Jail house have their way with him in the joint. We won’t need to execute this monster.

    1. Jane Doe says:

      Shame he doesn’t reside in Texas, we have an express lane to the death row and carry out these executions.

    2. Bill says:

      nor WILL we execute him. nearly 30 yrs. for Mumia & that p.o.s. is still breathing.

  41. michellefrommadison says:

    All suspects are guilty of the alleged crime according to Nancy Grace of CNN, right? What’s taking so long on his execution?

    1. Big Cat says:

      I totally agree with you Michelle…..This dirty, rotten, no good piece of s@#t doesn’t deserve to see the end of this day!

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Philly

2017 Guide To Philadelphia's Center City Sips

Watch & Listen LIVE