Man charged with fatally stabbing 6-year-old daughter in the heart

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP/WCMH) – Federal prosecutors have filed a complaint against a North Carolina man accused of killing his 6-year-old daughter, whose body was found on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said in a statement that a complaint charging 36-year-old Seth Willis Pickering of Asheville with murder in the death of his daughter, Lila Pickering, was filed Tuesday.

A medical examiner says the girl died from a stab wound to her chest Friday.

According to WHNS, when Pickering was arrested he told park rangers he killed Lila so, “Now they will never be able to take her away from me.. She’s happier now.. it’s what she wanted.”

Court documents show Pickering and his estranged wife had been in a custody battle over the girl.

Pickering is to appear in U.S. District Court once he is transferred from state custody. State authorities also have charged him with first-degree murder.

He is being held in the Buncombe County jail. It was not clear if he has an attorney.

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