Indiana woman convicted in murder of 10-year-old stepdaughter found strangled, stuffed in trash bag

Indiana woman convicted in murder of 10-year-old stepdaughter found strangled, stuffed in trash bag

A Grant County jury determined a woman who was found guilty of strangling her stepdaughter to death recommended she be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

According to WANE-TV, Amanda Carmack was convicted August 6 of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in death to a person under 14, and strangulation. Carmack’s first trial in November 2020 ended in a mistrial after several people involved contracted COVID-19.

Amanda Carmack’s stepdaughter Skylea Carmack was last seen August 31, 2019. Indiana State Police and Gas City Police posted photos asking for the public’s help in locating the 10-year-old. On September 4, the Grant County Coroner responded to a residence on South D Street in Gas City. Grant County Coroner Stephen Dorsey wrote that while on the property, he was led to a shed where he found a body inside trash bags.

Dorsey noted the clothing on the body matched the description given when the child was reported missing. He said the body was "consistent with Skylea being dead since August 31, 2019." Her cause of death was determined to be homicide from asphyxia due to ligature strangulation.

Indiana State Police announced Amanda Carmack’s arrest on September 4 and said investigators believe Skylea was killed sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on August 31.

Skylea reportedly lived with her father and stepmother, Amanda’s three children and Amanda’s brother’s three kids, according to the IndyStar. Some of the children in their home reportedly told investigators Amanda was a "strict disciplinarian" who allegedly beat them with a belt.

IndyStar reports State Police Detective Wendell D. Beachy wrote in the affidavit, "They stated that when they were in trouble they would have to stand with their face against the wall with their hands in the air" for "several hours."

One child reportedly told investigators Skylea was confined to her room for a week and a half before she disappeared.

WANE reports Amanda Carmack admitted to strangling Skylea. During the trial, prosecutor Evan Hammond said Amanda tried using her hands to strangle Skylea but then used a pair of pants and tied them in a “very tight” knot around her neck.

Her official sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 15, according to court records.