Local News

Area Silver Alert Ends in Tragedy

(Plymouth, IN) - An area-wide hunt for a missing baby came to a tragic end Thursday.


A Silver Alert was issued on Sunday out of Plymouth for 11-month-old Mercedes Lain. The little girl was being watched by 37-year-old Justin Lee Miller, whom authorities located in Starke County early Monday morning without the baby.


After a search including Marshall, Starke, and St. Joseph Counties, and involving the FBI and multiple local agencies, Miller revealed the child’s location. Her body was found Thursday morning in a wooded area halfway between Plymouth and Knox.


Investigators say Mercedes’ parents and Miller admitted to using synthetic marijuana and meth over last weekend. Reports indicate the parents, Kenneth Lain and Tiffany Coburn, gave Mercedes to Miller as a babysitter. How the girl died is still under investigation.


All three are now in police custody. Lain and Coburn are charged with child neglect. Miller is currently charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. Pending an autopsy and further investigation, those initial charges could change.

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