Justin Miller: Relative arrested after missing Indiana baby Mercedes Lain is found dead
PLYMOUTH, INDIANA: In a tragic turn of events, missing Indiana baby Mercedes Lain has been found dead in the dense woods, after days of searching. Her relative Justin Miller was arrested in connection with her death, over suspicion of neglect. The 11-month-old infant girl was left with Miller by her parents who wanted to "have a break" for the weekend.
According to the police affidavit, Mercedes Lain's parents Kenneth Lain and Tiffany Coburn were reportedly having a hard time taking care of their baby daughter. Accused Miller then offered to take care of her so that her parents can have some time off to themselves. However, the parents grew increasingly suspicious and worried after Miller failed to return her even after two days. He has now been charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Who is Justin Miller?
The incident took place on Friday, August 13, when the baby's parents trusted their relative to take care of their baby daughter. The 37-year-old promised to return her on Sunday, August 15, which he failed to do. The missing report was filed on Sunday, August 15, after there was no trace of Mercedes or Miller. A Silver Alert was issued across the region in search of them and Miller was located in Starke County around 3:30 am on August 16. However, he did not have the infant with him.
After several rounds of interrogation, Miller ultimately admitted that he was at a residence in Mishawaka on August 14 with Mercedes. But he found the baby deceased after waking up. He then took her body and left it in a densely wooded area in Starke County.
While Miller has been identified as a family relative by the baby's parents, police are yet to confirm his relationship with the Lains. According to the investigators, Miller revealed that the baby's father Kenneth Lain had contacted him for buying synthetic marijuana. During the course of the conversation, he shared about having a "rough time" with Mercedes, which prompted Miller to offer to take care of the baby and give the parents a break. But Miller's recollection of the episode had several inconsistencies and his version of the truth changed multiple times. Eventually, he admitted to finding the girl dead and disposing of her body.
Along with Miller, Mercedes' parents Kenneth and Tiffany have also been charged with neglect of a dependent, since the police found them "uncooperative" during the search for their child. As per latest reports, no autopsy has been scheduled yet for the baby.