Search For Missing Trucker’s Daughter Ends After Stepmother Admits Murder
Gas City, IN – The daughter of an Indiana trucker was murdered by her stepmother while her father was out of state working, police say.
Skylea Carmack, 10, from Gas City, was reported missing by her stepmother, Amanda Carmack, 34, on August 31.
Amanda called the girl’s biological father, Kevin Carmack, an over-the-road truck driver, and told him Skylea didn’t come down for dinner and that she couldn’t find her.
According to court documents, Amanda told him she discovered Skylea had taken a charm bracelet from one of the other children in the home and became angry with her.
After finding the bracelet in Skylea’s room, Amanda told her to clean her room while she prepared dinner for the rest of the family.
Amanda claimed to check on the girl around 9 p.m. and found her missing.
At that point, Amanda said she called the child’s father.
Kevin, who told authorities he was returning from a trip to Maryland, instructed Amanda to call the police.
Court documents show Amanda contacted police at 9:10 p.m., claiming the child had run away.
A community-wide search for the child ensued and lasted for four days.
While she was missing, Kevin returned home to help search for his daughter.
As part of the search, Kevin made a desperate plea for his daughter to return home on several local news outlets.
Kevin said he believed his daughter was upset because she had been grounded by her stepmother and she ran away.
“It just went a little too far and she got stuck and now she’s just scared to come home ’cause she’s afraid now she is going to be in even more trouble,” Kevin said.
Tragically, the search came to an end in the morning hours of September 4, when Amanda arrived to the Gas City Police Department (GCPD) and admitted to killing Skylea.
Court documents say Amanda sobbed on the floor as she confessed to the murder.
Police located Skylea’s body around 3 a.m. on September 4 in a black trash bag inside a shed behind the family’s home.
A preliminary autopsy report stated she had a pair of cloth pants tightly around her neck, that was used to asphyxiate her.
Also in the bag was a pillow, blanket and a backpack — items Amanda said Skylea took with her when she ‘ran away.’
The autopsy revealed Skylea died between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on August 31 — before Amanda reported the child missing to Kevin and authorities.
Kevin told police the last time he spoke with his daughter was in a video call around 3:30 p.m. the afternoon she went missing.
During the call, police said Kevin confronted her why she stole the bracelet.
Phone records corroborate Kevin’s account of the call and his GPS location that day.
“Kevin was very cooperative and forthcoming with every detail he knew and did not display any signs of deception,” police wrote in court documents.
Previous History of Abuse
Skylea lived in a house with her father, stepmother, and six other children — three of which are Amanda’s, and three who belong to her brother.
According to police, the children told investigators that Amanda was physically abusive.
In fact, according to the children, Skylea had been “confined to her room for the last week and a half” while her father was away.
Amanda has been officially charged with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in death to a person under 14 years of age and strangulation.
She is being held on a no-bond status at the Grant County Jail.