- Mike Plumador, 39, was watching Aliahna Lemmon and her sisters on Friday when she disappeared
- Has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina that includes convictions for trespassing and assault
- Rundown mobile home park in Fort Wayne a known haven for sex offenders
By Jennifer Madison
Last updated at 5:26 AM on 27th December 2011
A missing nine-year-old Indiana girl has been found dead, and the family friend who was watching her before she disappeared was charged last night with murder, authorities said.
Allen County sheriff's spokesman Cpl Jeremy Tinkel said investigators found the body of Aliahna Lemmon in the county, but he wouldn't say where.
He also said 39-year-old Mike Plumadore was 'interviewed by police and taken into custody at 9pm and charged with murder.'
Innocent: Aliahna Lemmon was last seen on Friday morning. Police searched for her on Saturday but have since called off the hunt
Plumadore, who had been watching Aliahna and her sisters before she was reported missing late Friday, is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Earlier Monday, FBI agents descended on the rundown mobile home park in Fort Wayne where Aliahna lived.
The park is a known haven for registered sex offenders, though Plumadore isn't on Indiana's registered sex offenders list. He has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina that includes convictions for trespassing and assault.
More than 100 emergency workers searched Saturday for Aliahna around the mobile home park, where she was last seen. No active search was done Sunday for the girl, but search dogs and FBI agents were at the park and the girl's home on Monday.
Search and rescue: Elyssabeth Fuller, 12, is one of over 40 people who returned after a candlelight vigil to form a search party for the young girl this weekend
According to a state website, 15 registered sex offenders live at the mobile home park that numbers about two dozen homes.
Aliahna's mother, Tarah Souders, 28, told The Journal Gazette earlier on Monday that her daughter had vision and hearing problems and suffered from attention deficit disorder and emotional problems. She also has a history of sleepwalking, family members said.
Aliahna and her sisters were staying at a family friend's nearby home because their mother had been sick with the flu and Aliahna's stepfather works at night and sleeps during the day.
Plumadore told the newspaper Sunday that he left the three girls in his mobile home about 6am 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.'
Stalled search: Emergency responders fanned out on Saturday to look for little Aliahna but stopped looking the following day
He said he smoked his cigar and went back to sleep, then woke up about 10am when Aliahna's mother called. After that call, he realised the door to the home was unlocked and that Aliahna was gone. He said Aliahna's six-year-old sisters told him Aliahna had left with her mom.
Plumadore said it wasn't until he talked with Aliahna's mom about 8:30pm that they realised she was missing and police were notified.
Tarah Souders said miscommunication between the two of them caused the delay in determining that Aliahna had vanished.
'She's never wandered off,' Souders said. 'She's never done anything like this before.'
Elizabeth Watkins, 52, who has lived at the park for six months with her four-year-old granddaughter, said it's well-known that several sex offenders live in the neighbourhood.
'It's scary,' she said.
'I don't know how a parent could leave their child alone.'
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