Officials confirmed on Thursday that the 10-year-old Indiana girl who was found dead behind her home days after her reported disappearance was strangled.
According to WPTA, the Fort Wayne Forensic Examination Unit completed their autopsy on Skylea Carmack on Wednesday—and deemed her death was a homicide as she died from strangulation. While her stepmother, Amanda Carmack, 34, has been jailed in connection with her death, officials haven’t revealed a motive in the slaying.
The coroner’s announcement comes a day after police reportedly discovered Skylea Carmack’s body in a shed located behind her Gas City home, where she was last seen alive on Saturday.
Skylea Carmack was initially believed to have vanished from her home on Saturday at around 4 p.m. Her father, Kevin Carmack, told WXIN that he was at work Saturday and the 10-year-old was left with her six siblings and her stepmother.
Amanda Carmack was accused of waiting until that evening to report her stepdaughter’s disappearance. WDRB reported that Child Protective Services removed the six other children from the home due to her alleged delay in reporting the girl missing.
While the stepmother allegedly claimed Skylea Carmack ran away, police alleged she strangled the girl between 4:30 and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Further, Indiana State Police Seargent Tony Slocum previously told People magazine that they were reviewing surveillance footage from surrounding homes and hadn’t spotted the missing girl on video.
Authorities issued a statewide SILVER Alert for Skylea Carmack on Sunday. Though AMBER Alerts are typically issued when missing children are considered endangered, SILVER Alerts are used when an elderly person or someone with a cognitive disability vanishes.
Officials haven’t revealed the nature of Skylea Carmack’s disability, but her father told WXIN that she disappeared with an autism awareness blanket. He also revealed that his daughter had a history of running off to his mother’s home.
Amanda Carmack remains jailed on murder, neglect of a dependent, strangulation, and domestic battery charges. Police said they believe she acted alone and that they aren’t investigating additional suspects at this time.
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[Featured image: Skylea Carmack, Amanda Carmack/Gas City Police Department]