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.

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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.

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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.

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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.