Missing Indiana girl, 10, found dead in trash bag; stepmother charged in murder

An Indiana woman who led authorities to believe her 10-year-old stepdaughter had run away has been charged with murder after the child’s body was discovered in a trash bag at their home, investigators said Thursday.

Amanda D. Carmack, 34, was taken into custody early Wednesday after a four-day search for Skylea Carmack, Indiana State Police said in a statement. Carmack allegedly strangled the child and hid her body inside a shed behind the family’s Gas City home.

An autopsy determined Skylea had been strangled Saturday between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., police said Thursday. A coroner ruled the death a homicide.

Investigators located Skylea's body around 3 a.m. Wednesday after a four-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies, fire departments and volunteers, police said. 
Investigators located Skylea’s body around 3 a.m. Wednesday after a four-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies, fire departments and volunteers, police said.  (Grant County Jail / Indiana State Police)

Skylea’s father, Kevin Carmack, told FOX59 Indianapolis he was at work Saturday when his daughter appeared to have run away around 4 p.m. He said Skylea had been home with his wife and six other children at the time.

Amanda Carmack waited until around 9 p.m. to report Skylea missing, the station reported.

Police believed Carmack to be the only person involved in the murder and have no other suspects, the station reported.

Carmack was charged with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in death, and strangulation, authorities said.

She was being held at the Grant County Jail.

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