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Man charged in 2016 stabbing death of 6-year-old daughter to appear in court Monday

When rangers asked why Pickering had killed his daughter, he replied, "Now they will never be able to take her from me." He further stated something to the effect of "she's happier now." (Photo credit: Cindy Dabill)

Seth Pickering, the Leicester man charged with first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing his 6-year-old daughter to death on the Blue Ridge Parkway, appears in court Monday.

Pickering, 36, was arrested on state charges on September 9, 2016 for Lila Pickering's murder.

He entered a not guilty plea in October 2016.

Seth Pickering was given temporary custody of Lila in July of 2015 by the courts after he filed domestic violence charges against his wife, Ashley.

DSS made several visits and never found any trouble until July 30, 2016, when an on-call social worker observed Pickering stumbling around while caring for Lila. Pickering admitted to an alcohol problem and agreed to place Lila with a family friend.

During a supervised visit in September, Pickering left with the child without permission. Later that day, after driving with her to the Blue Ridge Parkway, he allegedly stabbed Lila in the chest with a knife as park rangers approached them.

According to documents in the case, when rangers asked why Pickering had killed his daughter, he replied, "Now they will never be able to take her from me." He further stated something to the effect of "she's happier now."

In a later interview with Buncombe County deputies, Pickering said the child had made him promise "they" would never take her away again, and he had reacted the only way he knew how.

Pickering was was set to enter a parenting program days after Lila's death.

At last check, Seth Pickering is in federal custody.



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