Neighbor will be charged with murder in Indiana girl's death

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 27, 2011 11:38 AM

(Reuters) - A neighbor who was baby-sitting an Indiana girl whose remains were discovered the day after Christmas will be formally charged with the nine-year-old's murder on Tuesday, officials said.

Investigators in Allen County said they considered 39-year-old Mike Plumadore, who was watching Aliahna Lemmon and her two sisters when she went missing near Ft. Wayne last Friday, the key suspect in the case from the start, despite his claims she went missing when he fell asleep after smoking a cigar.

Plumadore, who lived in the same trailer park as the victim's family, was arrested on Monday after police, acting on a tip from the suspect, found the girl's remains.

"The story just didn't make sense to our investigators or to me when I first heard it and I thought this was the guy we needed to focus on," Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said.

Lemmon had been staying with Plumadore, a family friend, for about a week.

He will be formally charged with murder on Tuesday, officials said.

Allen County officials have released no details on how the girl died.

(Reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by James B. Kelleher and Jerry Norton)