(FORT WAYNE, Ind.) — A 9-year-old girl who was reported missing from an Indiana trailer park on Friday was found dead Monday night, and a man described as a neighbor and family friend was charged with murder, police said.
Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said Aliahna Lemmon’s body was found after 9 p.m. on Monday, and investigators believe she was killed on Friday, the same day she was reported missing.
The girl and her two sisters had been staying in the Northway mobile home park in Fort Wayne with Mike Plumadore, 39, a family friend, while their mother was sick.
Plumadore reported the girl missing Friday night. Police said he told them that he last saw her early Friday morning and when he first realized that she was no longer in his mobile home, he assumed that she had gone home to her mother.
He was arrested after his third interview with police, when he gave “indication as to his involvement in this,” and where the body could be found, Fries told ABC News affiliate WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne.
Fries said Plumadore has a criminal record in North Carolina and Florida.
Fries did not say specifically where the girl’s remains were found, but sources told WPTA that there was crime-scene tape around a dumpster and around Plumadore’s home.
The tragic discovery came the same day that police announced that the FBI had joined the investigation and a candlelight vigil was being held for Aliahna in Fort Wayne.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN
Jon Ostrower and Rene Marsh, CNN