A missing 9-year-old Indiana girl, Aliahna Lemmon, was found dead on Monday night. She had been reported missing on Friday evening. The details of her death are incredibly gruesome.
The neighbor who had been watching Aliahna, 39-year-old Mike Plumadore, was interviewed by police and taken into custody at 9 p.m. and charged with murder on Monday night. Plumadore had been watching Aliahna and her sisters before she was reported missing. Plumadore told investigators on Monday where the girl’s body could be found.
Police say Plumadore bludgeoned Aliahna with a brick, then dismembered her with a hacksaw.
After beating Aliahna Lemmon to death last Thursday, Michael Plumadore told police he stuffed her body into trash bags and hid her in his freezer, according to an affidavit filed by the Allen County sheriff’s department. Plumadore said he later chopped up her body, stuffed her remains into freezer bags and hid some at his trailer and some at a nearby business.
No active search was done Sunday for Aliahna, though more than 100 emergency workers searched for her Saturday around the mobile home park where she and Plumadore lived. Allen County sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel said the same size search could not be sustained because of the Christmas holiday.
Although it was later learned that Aliahna was already dead by Sunday, it is still surprising that a massive search for a child did not continue despite the holiday.
Aliahna and her sisters were staying with Plumadore because their mother had been sick with the flu and Aliahna’s stepfather works at night and sleeps during the day. Plumadore told authorities that he left the three girls in his mobile home about 6 a.m. Friday and went to a gas station about a mile away to buy a cigar. Authorities have said the store’s surveillance video shows him there about that time. “I had dead-bolted the door,” he said. “When I got back, all the girls was here.”
He said he smoked his cigar and went back to sleep, then woke up about 10 a.m. when Aliahna’s mother called. After that call, he realized the door to the home was unlocked and that Aliahna was gone. He said Aliahna’s 6-year-old sisters told him Aliahna had left with her mother. Plumadore said it wasn’t until he talked with Aliahna’s mother about 8:30 p.m. that they realized she was missing and police were notified.
Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said Plumadore was arrested after being interviewed by detectives for several hours Monday — and was also questioned Friday and Saturday.
On Monday, FBI agents descended on the rundown mobile home park where Aliahna lived and was last seen.
The mobile home park in Fort Wayne is a known haven for registered sex offenders. According to a state website, 15 registered sex offenders live at the mobile home park. That’s an alarming number given that the park only has about two dozen homes on its land. Plumadore is not on Indiana’s registered sex offenders list; however, he has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina that includes convictions for trespassing and assault.
Given the nature of this gruesome crime, it makes you wonder what other crimes he has committed, but was never caught. It seems like a giant leap from trespassing and assault to murder.
Sources: MSNBC and The Chicago Tribune