Father of slain Indiana girl Aliahna Lemmon says he's overcome with grief

An emotional candlelight vigil in Fort Wayne, Ind., was held for 9-year-old Aliahna Lemmon killed by her babysitter. Jeff Glor reports.
Vigil held in Ind. for murdered girl
Aliahna Lemmon

(CBS/AP) FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The father of slain 9-year-old Aliahna Lemmon, who was found bludgeoned and dismembered, said on Wednesday that he knew the man accused of killing his daughter and had no reason to distrust him.

"I can't talk about it because I'm still coping with it. It's too hard to talk about," Dawayne Maroney told The Associated Press, adding that the gruesome slaying has him overcome with grief.

Maroney said he hadn't spoken recently with his daughter or her mother, because they frequently changed their phone number.

Maroney said he knew 39-year-old Michael Plumadore, the man accused of killing his daughter, through his daughter's mother, Tarah Souders.

Maroney said he trusted Plumadore.

"I had no reason to suspect anything," he said.

Plumadore faces a preliminary charge of murder. He made a brief initial court appearance on Tuesday where he was ordered held without bond. He is due back in court Friday morning.

Allen County Sheriff's investigators said in an affidavit that Plumadore admits he killed Aliahna Lemmon in the early morning hours of Dec 22. According to the affidavit, Plumadore told authorities that after beating the girl to death, he stuffed her body into trash bags and hid her in the freezer at his trailer in northeast Indiana's Allen County.

Plumadore told authorities that later that day and early on Dec. 23 he used a hack saw to dismember the girl's body.

Allen County Coroner E. Jon Brandenberger on Wednesday said he won't be able to determine the cause of death for Aliahna until further tests are completed.

Authorities said they could not comment on a possible motive for the murder.

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