Police said a 39 year old man trusted to babysit three girls has confessed that he bludgeoned 9-year-old Aliahna Lemmon to death with a brick then dismembered her. He then hid her head, hands and feet at the home where he was staying and dumped the rest of her remains nearby, according to police.
Allen County sheriff’s investigators released an affidavit saying that Michael Plumadore admits he killed Aliahna Lemmon on Thursday.
The affidavit states that Plumadore told police he beat Aliahna to death in the early morning on the front steps of the home, then he stuffed her body into trash bags and hid her in the freezer in the home, which was in a trailer park in Fort Wayne. He admitted that he later chopped up her body with a hacksaw so that he could stuff her remains into freezer bags.
Police said Plumadore revealed to them that he had hidden Aliahna’s head, feet and hands at the trailer, but discarded her other remains at a business nearby. Police came to the trailer on Monday with a search warrant and found the body parts.
Authorities offerred no speculation on Tuesday as to why Plumadore killed the child. According to Sheriff Ken Fries, investigators suspected Plumadore was involved from the beginning of the investigation on Friday night.
Plumadore was questioned by investigators on Friday, Saturday and Monday, after which he was arrested. Fries credited the experience of his long police career for his ability to detect inconsistencies in Plumadore’s account the girl’s disappearance.
Fires said, “Things that were said in 29 years of doing this that just didn’t make sense…We needed to get him to talk.”
Plumadore is being held without bail or bond after an initial hearing Tuesday, according to sheriff’s department spokesman Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel. He has not yet been formally charged in Aliahna’s death.
Allen County chief deputy prosecutor Mike McAlexander wouldn’t say if anyone else was suspected of being involved, but said that “nothing has been ruled out.”
As documented in an earlier article on this website, Aliahna and her two 6-year-old sisters were spending the week with Plumadore while their mother, Tarah Souders, recovered from the flu.
Aliahna was reported missing on Friday night, even though Plumadore said the girl had disappeared in the morning. He claimed the younger girls told him their mother had picked her up and he didn’t realize until much later that this wasn’t true.
More than 100 emergency workers searched for Aliahna on Saturday and FBI agents joined on Monday.
Plumadore has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina, including convictions for trespassing and assault, but he is not on Indiana’s list of registered sex offenders.
According to Aliahna’s step-grandfather, David Story, Plumadore was a “trusted family friend” who had cared for Souders’ ailing father until his death from emphysema earlier this month. He was living in that man’s mobile home.