An Indiana woman was found guilty on Friday of strangling her stepdaughter in 2019 and hiding her body in a shed behind their home.
On Monday, a Grant County jury recommended life in prison for Amanda Carmack, who was convicted of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in the death of a person under 14, and strangulation.
WAVE reported that the woman’s attorney claimed that Skylea Carmack’s murder was not premeditated because his client was suffering from worsening migraines and depression in the weeks leading up to the slaying.
Skylea Carmack, 10, was already dead by the time Amanda Carmack reported her as a runaway on August 31, 2019. A SILVER Alert was issued, which is used in cases where an elderly person or someone with a cognitive disability vanishes. While the nature of her disability was not disclosed, her father previously said she disappeared with an autism awareness blanket.
Skylea Carmack’s father was at work at the time of the slaying but her six siblings were home. Days after the girl’s disappearance, Amanda Carmack confessed to strangling her in the shed during an argument about a stolen charm bracelet belonging to one of the children.
Court testimony revealed how Amanda Carmack first attempted to strangle her stepdaughter with her hands before using a pair of jeans. Prosecutors said the medical examiner commented that the jeans — which were found around the girl’s neck — were tied in the tightest knot he has seen in his career, according to WAVE.
Skylea Carmack was found lying in the fetal position, inside a garbage bag and under a pile of items. Air fresheners, candles, and dryer sheets were in the shed to presumably mask the smell of her remains.
WAVE reported that during court testimony, Amanda Carmack was asked why she killed her stepdaughter — to which she responded, “things happen.”
Amanda Carmack will be formally sentenced on September 15.
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[Featured image: Skylea Carmack, Amanda Carmack/Gas City Police Department]