Missing 17-Year-Old Girl Found Buried In Box In Family Friend's Backyard
The search for a missing teenager in Indiana has ended in tragedy.
According to WTTV, Valerie Tindall vanished on June 7. The Rush County Sheriff’s Department immediately issued a Silver Alert for the teen after she was reported missing over the summer. But for six months, no one had been able to find her… until this week. Following a harrowing search, police discovered human remains inside a box buried underneath a pile of rubble in her neighbor Patrick Scott’s backyard on Tuesday in Arlington, Indiana. The Rush County Coroner soon identified the remains as those of the 17-year-old.
After the body was found, Scott was arrested and charged with murder. The 59-year-old had been a suspect in the disappearance of Valerie from day one, as he had been the last person to see her on June 7. The victim’s mom, Schena Sandefur, told Fox 59 that someone heard Scott tell Valerie he planned to take her to Indianapolis for lunch that day and it would be “someplace special.” And shortly after Valerie vanished, per WTTV, witnesses reported they saw Scott tearing down and burning his garage at 2:00 a.m.
Then in late June, he was charged with providing false information to the police, as he allegedly lied to law enforcement and could not keep his story straight about what happened on the day of her disappearance. Scott alleged he dropped her off in the town of Homer, about five miles south of Arlington, and said she got into another car with an unknown male.
As for how Valerie even knew the suspect? Her mother said Scott and his wife were friends of the family and that he often hired the teen to mow lawns in the summer for him. Valerie was also friends with his granddaughter. However, Schena explained to the outlet she noticed Scott did not treat Valerie like just a family friend and employee. Oftentimes, she felt he came across as more of a “jealous boyfriend” around her. He even allegedly would track her phone at times. What the f**k?!
Obviously, all of these details raised red flags for investigators. The Rush County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday that more than 50 search warrants were executed over the last six months to get a lead in the case. They searched Scott’s property at least two times since the teen disappeared. We guess they didn’t dig deep enough at first…
According to court documents obtained by WTTV on Thursday, when police went to his home on October 11, cadaver dogs indicated there was a presence of human remains within a pond near the property. However, no remains were uncovered during the search. Later, officers learned from the dog handlers that water is known to hold scent, and wind could have carried the scent of human remains toward the pond. So they ordered a flyover of the property to be conducted on October 12.
It was during that search police spotted “multiple areas of obvious ground disturbance,” per the court documents. Forty federal agents and law enforcement officers descended upon Scott’s property on November 28. Despite reports previously stating Valerie’s remains were discovered in a barrel, the court documents revealed cops actually uncovered two homemade boxes made of 2x4s and oriented strand boards buried in the ground.
Inside one of the boxes, an officer found human remains. They “instantly” saw orange fingernails on the body, and police later stated that the nail polish matched a picture Valerie posted on social media on June 7. Heartbreaking. The second box contained VHS tapes and other miscellaneous paperwork.
Following his arrest, the docs say Scott actually admitted to police he killed Valerie – strangling her with a belt and then burying her in the box in the backyard. He allegedly told investigators:
“I put it around her neck and I held onto it until she quit.”
To make the situation more sick and twisted? Scott said he continued to wear the belt he allegedly killed Valerie with afterward. Chilling…
Investigators had discovered records of the suspect buying the 2x4s and the oriented strand boards at the Home Depot in the town of Greenfield the day after the young girl disappeared. During questioning, he owned up to purchasing the boards to make the box for Valerie’s body. But after murdering her, Scott allegedly told police, he hid her remains in his office. Once the box was made, he wrapped her body in plastic, put her inside, and screwed it shut. He then wheeled the box out of his office on a dolly and put it in a hole before covering it up with the debris. As for the second box? He claimed it had been there since July and used it to “put s**t in.”
When asked if he hated Valerie, he told investigators no. Scott recalled they would hang out together outside of work, doing things like shopping and going out to eat. He then alleged that he hadn’t planned to murder Valerie, and it “just kind of happened.” What??? However, he did mention that he believed Valerie was going to seduce him or attempt to blackmail him into buying her a new car.
Asked if killing the young girl bothered him, Scott allegedly replied:
“Well, I wasn’t too crazy about it.”
It’s horrific what happened to this poor girl. Reactions to the case, Perezcious readers. Let us know in the comments below.
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