Indiana woman formally charged in stepdaughter’s killing

An Indiana woman who was charged Friday in the strangulation death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter told investigators she “was very angry” when she killed the child and hid her body in a shed, court documents allege.

Amanda D. Carmack, 34, was charged with murder and strangulation in Skylea Carmack’s killing. Carmack also faces felony charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and domestic battery death to a person under age 14.

The Gas City woman is jailed without bond in Marion. Online court records don’t list an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

A probable cause affidavit filed with the charges states Carmack went to the Gas City police station early Wednesday — four days after she reported Skylea missing — and confessed to killing her. Police found Skylea’s body hours later hidden in a black plastic garbage bag in a shed behind the family’s home in the city about 80 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

Carmack was arrested the same day and held on preliminary charges. Grant County prosecutors filed a motion Friday indicating that if Carmack is convicted in Skylea’s killing they plan to seek a sentence of life in prison without parole.

According to the affidavit, an autopsy showed that clothing, apparently a pair of pants, was found “tied very tight” around Skylea’s neck. A pillow, blanket and backpack were found inside two bags within the trash bag containing the body.

According to the affidavit, Carmack would not explain why she killed Skylea, saying only that “she was very angry.” She told investigators she could not remember all the details of the killing but recalled being on top of the child, who was lying on her back.

“She started choking her with her hands then she thinks she tied something around her neck,” the document states.

Carmack reported Skylea missing on Aug. 31, telling authorities the girl may have run away from home.

She told investigators that before Skylea disappeared she discovered the girl had stolen a charm bracelet from one of the six other children who lived at the family’s home. Carmack said she found that bracelet, told Skylea to go clean her room while she made dinner and later discovered she was missing, the affidavit states.

Several of the other children who lived at the home told police Carmack “was a strict disciplinarian” who would physically abuse them, including whipping them with a belt, according to the affidavit.

“They stated that when they were in trouble, they would have to stand with their faces against the wall with their hands in the air. Sometimes they would remain in this position for hours,” it states.

Skylea’s father, Kevin Carmack, is a truck driver. Authorities determined he was returning home from Maryland on Saturday when he learned his daughter was missing.

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