A 9-year-old Indiana girl with physical and emotional problems disappeared on Friday from the mobile home park where she lived. The trailer park is a known haven for registered sex offenders.
On Monday, FBI agents joined the search for Aliahna Lemmon, who went missing from a family friend’s home in the trailer park on Friday. Their arrival came a day after local police chose not to search on Sunday. Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel, a spokesman for the Allen County sheriff’s department, said that they had originally not planned to search Monday either, unless new leads were provided. The local police did not discuss what they suspect may have happened to Aliahna.
Agents at the scene Monday did not disclose why the FBI was involved. Calls and emails to an agency spokesman were not immediately returned.
An extensive search for Aliahna was conducted on Saturday with more than 100 emergency workers. They searched around where she was last seen at the mobile home park on Fort Wayne’s north side. No organized search for the girl took place on Sunday.
According to a state website, there are 15 registered sex offenders living among the two dozen homes in the mobile home park.
Tarah Souders, Aliahna’s mother, told The Journal Gazette her daughter has vision and hearing problems and that she suffers from emotional problems and attention deficit disorder. Family members say the girl also has a history of sleepwalking.
The Journal Gazette reported that Aliahna and her sisters had been staying at the nearby home of a family friend because their mother was sick with the flu and Aliahna’s stepfather works nights and sleeps during the day.
The family friend, Mike Plumadore, 39, told the newspaper Sunday that he had gone at about 6 am on Friday to a gas station about a mile away to buy a cigar, leaving the three girls in his mobile home. Authorities reported the store’s surveillance video confirms that Plumadore was in the store at that time.
Plumadore said, “I had deadbolted the door…When I got back, all the girls was here.” He then said he smoked his cigar and went back to bed, sleeping until about 10 a.m. when Aliahna’s mother called. After the call, he noticed that the door to the home was unlocked and that Aliahna was missing. According to Plumadore, Aliahna’s sisters, both 6 years old, said that Aliahna had left with her mom.
It wasn’t until about 8:30 p.m. when he talked with Aliahna’s mom that they realized the girl was missing and police were notified, according to Plumadore.
Plumadore is not registered with the state’s website as a sex offender.
Tarah Souders blamed the delay in determining that Aliahna had vanished on miscommunication.
Souders said, “She’s never wandered off…”She’s never done anything like this before.”
Aliahna’s grandmother, Amber Story, said that Aliahna does have a history of sleepwalking. Apparently she has even unlocked doors and gone outside while sleeping.