An inmate serving a life sentence for molesting and murdering a 10-year-old girl named Katie was apparently forcibly tattooed across the forehead by a fellow prisoner with the words "KATIE'S REVENGE," authorities say.
Anthony Ray Stockelman, 39, was removed from the general prison population for his own safety last weekend after authorities discovered the tattoo, officials said.
Prison officials said an inmate has been identified as a suspect.
A photo of what is identified as Stockelman's forehead appeared this week on a crime blog called "Lost In Lima Ohio" that focuses on news reports about crimes against children and women.
Two prison guards suspected of supplying the picture were fired for making unauthorized copies of an evidence photo, said Rich Larsen, a spokesman for the Wabash Valley state prison in Carlisle, about 70 miles north of Evansville.
Child molesters rank near the bottom of the prison hierarchy and are often brutalized by other inmates. Tattoos are against prison regulations, but inmates often fashion crude tattoo instruments with plastic utensils and needles.
Stockelman's tattoo covers nearly his entire forehead.
"If I had to guess I'd say it's a statement from the inmates," said Collman's father, John Neace.
Stockelman pleaded guilty to abducting, molesting and drowning Katlyn "Katie" Collman, whose body was found in 2005 in a creek about 15 miles from her home in the town of Crothersville.
Police initially believed Katie was abducted and slain because she had stumbled onto a methamphetamine operation in the neighborhood, but that theory was later discarded.
Another man confessed to the killing at one point but was cleared after DNA and other evidence connected Stockelman to the crime.