An Indiana man is now facing attempted murder charges after authorities found a badly beaten 9-year-old inside his home.
NBC 13 reports that Lafayette authorities received a report about a missing child on April 19, near Park Avenue. The child’s parents called for help after their 9-year-old had been missing for around 30 minutes, after 7 p.m.
While questioning neighbors, several of them told officers that the child’s next-door neighbor, James Brian Chadwell II, said he saw the girl after she disappeared. When the officers arrived at Chadwell’s house, he denied knowing the victim’s whereabouts but said she’d been by his home earlier and left.
Chadwell gave the officers permission to search his home. According to the Journal & Courier, authorities searched throughout the home, including the basement, which had a chain lock on the door. Officers got the door open and heard a child crying from the bottom of the basement stairs.
A little girl, locked up at the bottom of the stairs, told the officers that Chadwell tried to kill her. She reportedly had bruises all over her body, strangulation marks on her neck, and dog bites on her leg.
On Monday, prosecutors charged Chadwell with attempted murder, along with charges of:
- Child molesting
- Attempted child molesting
- Battery resulting in serious bodily injury
- Criminal confinement
Prosecutors filed a sentence-enhancing charge of the suspect being a habitual offender, which could add up to 20 years to Chadwell’s sentence if he’s convicted.
According to court documents, Chadwell lured the little girl inside his home by offering to let her pet his dogs. During his hearing on Monday, Chadwell asked who he could speak to about a mental evaluation.
The alleged incident occurred close to another high-profile Indiana case that remains unsolved.
In February 2017, approximately 20 miles from Lafayette, Indiana, in Delphi, two girls were found murdered near the Monon High Bridge Trail. While several persons of interest were previously identified in the case, Chadwell is not currently a suspect or a person of interest in those prior murders.
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[Feature Photo: Police Handout]