The body of a 10-year-old girl reported missing in Indiana was found in a trash bag and her stepmother has been charged in connection with her death, police say.
Amanda Carmack, 34, reported her stepdaughter Skylea Carmack, 10, missing from their Gas City home on Saturday, police said in a news release.
At the time, police said Skylea could possibly be in danger and in need of medical assistance, WANE reported.
Law enforcement and members of the community passed out fliers as they searched for the girl over the next four days, according to the news outlet. Then, their hunt came to a tragic end.
Around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Skylea’s body was found “wrapped in a plastic trash bag” in a shed behind the Carmack’s home, WPTA reported. Amanda Carmack, who’d reported Skylea missing, was arrested and charged in her death.
Police say the early investigation suggests Skylea was strangled to death, but a coroner’s report is still pending, RTV6 reported.
Carmack told police that she was “very angry” when she “started choking [Skylea] with her hands” before tying “something around her neck,” the Associated Press reported. Skylea disappeared after Carmack said the girl stole a charm bracelet from another child — one of six — also living in the home, according to the news outlet.
Several of the children told investigators they were routinely physically abused, sometimes getting whipped with a belt or being forced to stand with “their faces against the wall with their hands in the air,” the Associated Press reported.
Amanda Carmack is charged with strangulation, domestic battery resulting in death, and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, police say. She’s currently being held in Grant County Jail.
“The Gas City, Grant County is an area that cares. An area that loves. We wanted to bring this girl back safe, but unfortunately, that’s not the result we got,” Sgt. Tony Slocum said, according to WPTA