Aliahna Lemmon, a nine-year-old Fort Wayne, Indiana girl who went missing four days ago, was found dead on Monday night, and a neighbor who had been taking care of her was arrested and charged with her murder.
The Allen Couty sheriff's office said late Monday that neighbor Michael Plumadore, 39, was being charged with murdering the girl, according to CNN, but sheriff's office spokesman Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel declined to describe details such as the man's relationship with the young girl or the circumstances of his arrest. He also did not indicate where her remains had been found, according to USA Today.
The sheriff's office did release a brief statement late Monday regarding the case, which is included in full below.
He was a trusted family friend, Aliahna's step-grandfather, David Story, who described Plumadore as a family friend, told the Associated Press Monday night.
Before Plumadore's arrest, FBI agents on Monday visited the mobile home park where Aliahna lived and was last seen before her disappearance, the AP said.
Amber Story, Lemmon's grandmother, previously said that Plumadore was a close friend, CNN reported, and that she and her two sisters were staying with him for a time while their mother got over the flu.
She had said before that Lemmon may have sleepwalked away from Plumadore's home and been kidnapped, CNN said, but there was no new word from her Monday night.
Allen County sheriff's office statement:
The Allen County Sheriff's Department in cooperation with FBI agent task force officers from throughout Indiana, agents assigned to the FBI's child abduction rapid deployment team, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and local fire and police departments have located Aliahna Marie Maroney Lemmon who has been missing since Friday 12/23/2011.
Suspect Michael L. Plumadore, M/W/39 was interviewed by Police and taken into custody at 9:00 PM tonight. Michael was charged with murder of Aliahna. The remains of Aliahna have been located and recovered. This case remains under investigation by the Allen County Sheriff's Department and the Allen County Prosecutors Office.