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Missing Indiana girl found dead, babysitter arrested

This undated photo provided by the Allen County Sheriff's Department shows Aliahna Lemmon. Numerous police officers and others are searching in Fort Wayne, Ind., for Lemmon, 9, who was last seen the morning of Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. Allen County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel says investigators have no indication that Lemmon was abducted or what might have happened to her. AP Photo/Allen County Sheriff's Department

Aliahna Lemmon
AP Photo/Allen County Sheriff's Department
(CBS/AP) FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Authorities say the neighbor who was babysitting a 9-year-old Indiana girl when she went missing last week will be formally charged with murder on Tuesday.

Police said Monday night that the body of Aliahna Lemmon was found in Allen County, but wouldn't say where.

The girl's relatives considered the suspect, Mike Plumadore,39,  who was watching Aliahna and her two sisters, a family friend. He was arrested and being held on a murder charge since her disappearance Friday. He and Aliahna's family lived in the same mobile home park in Fort Wayne.

Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said Plumadore told investigators Monday where they girl's body could be found, ending hopes the girl would be found safe.

"It did come to a horrible conclusion," Fries said. "We have somebody is custody who can now pay the price for it."

Plumadore is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

After Aliahna was reported missing Friday night, FBI agents joined in the search Monday, descending on the mobile home park where she lived that is a known haven for registered sex offenders.

However, Plumadore isn't on the Indiana's registered sex offenders list. He has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina that includes convictions for trespassing and assault.

Aliahna's mother, Tarah Souders, said Sunday her daughter had vision, hearing and emotional problems and suffered from attention deficit disorder. Aliahna and her sisters were staying with Plumadore because their mother was sick with the flu and Aliahna's stepfather works a night job.

Plumadore originally told the media Sunday that he had left the three girls in his mobile home, went to go buy a cigar, and had dead-bolted the door. "When I got back," he said, "all the girls was there."

Plumadore said Aliahna's mother called the next morning at 10 a.m, and then he realized the door to his home was unlocked and the girl was missing. He said Aliahna's sisters told him she had left with her mother. At about 8:30 p.m. that night it was realized Aliahna was missing and police were contacted.

"She's never wandered off," Souders said.

The sheriff said Plumadore was arrested after being interviewed by detectives for several hours Monday.

"The story just didn't make sense to our investigators or to me when I first heard it," Fries said. "I thought this is the guy we needed to focus on. If we are going to find her, he's going to be the one who has the answers for us."


  • Crimesider Staff

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