ADVERTISEMENT
Related topics

Death of 11-month-old northern Indiana girl ruled homicide

August 23, 2021 GMT
This photo provided by the Marshall County Police Department via the South Bend Tribune shows Justin Miller. A prosecutor says an 11-month-old northern Indiana girl who had been reported missing was found dead in a wooded area after Miller had agreed to babysit the toddler for a few days led authorities to her body. Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman Jr. said Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 that Miller would be charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. (Marshall County Police Department via South Bend Tribune/AP)
1 of 4
This photo provided by the Marshall County Police Department via the South Bend Tribune shows Justin Miller. A prosecutor says an 11-month-old northern Indiana girl who had been reported missing was found dead in a wooded area after Miller had agreed to babysit the toddler for a few days led authorities to her body. Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman Jr. said Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 that Miller would be charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. (Marshall County Police Department via South Bend Tribune/AP)
1 of 4
This photo provided by the Marshall County Police Department via the South Bend Tribune shows Justin Miller. A prosecutor says an 11-month-old northern Indiana girl who had been reported missing was found dead in a wooded area after Miller had agreed to babysit the toddler for a few days led authorities to her body. Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman Jr. said Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 that Miller would be charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. (Marshall County Police Department via South Bend Tribune/AP)

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (AP) — The death of an 11-month-old northern Indiana girl found dead in a wooded area has been ruled a homicide, a prosecutor said Monday.

Mercedes Lain died from blunt force injuries to the head, Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman said Monday.

The baby’s autopsy was conducted on Friday in Fort Wayne, Chipman said.

Justin Miller, 37, of Hamlet is being held in the Marshall County Jail on a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. He’s due in court Tuesday morning.

The girl’s body was found Wednesday evening in a densely wooded area of Starke County near the Marshall County line after Miller led officers to the site.

Mercedes’ parents, Kenneth Lain and Tiffany Coburn, also face neglect charges. Court records say Miller is a relative of the parents.

Chipman has said Kenneth Lain left Mercedes with Miller at a Plymouth motel Aug. 13 to babysit for the weekend so he and Coburn could have “a few days break from their child.” But after Miller did not bring the toddler back as planned on Sunday her parents reported her missing to police, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Miller told officers he had used synthetic marijuana several times during the time he had Mercedes in his care.