ANDERSON, Ind. (April 18, 2015) -- The body of missing Anderson woman Samantha Fleming has been found in Gary. Her daughter Serenity, who was also reported missing at the same time, was found safe.
The Flemings were reported missing by Samantha's boyfriend on April 6th, after a woman pretending to be a Department of Child Services showed up at the family's home on Claire Street. The boyfriend, 21-year-old Rainey Stanley, says the woman told Samantha they needed to come to Lake County with her to attend a court meeting. Samantha and Serenity left with the unknown woman. Police say there was no indication they left under duress. They also want to reiterate that the woman was, in fact, not a Department of Child Services worker.
Anderson Police detective Scott Sanderson traveled to Gary to investigate the disappearance on April 17th. There, he found out Samantha's wallet had been found by a groundskeeper at the Woodlake Village Apartments on April 6th, the day Samantha and Serenity were last seen.
That same day Sanderson, along with Gary police, visited a home on the 1900 block of Cleveland Street and found a woman holding a baby. That woman wasn't able to tell officers the name of the baby, telling them it was her sister's child. She also told officers that her sister had left Indiana for Texas about a week prior, leaving the baby behind. The baby turned out to be Samantha's child Serenity.
The woman also told officers about a foul odor coming from within the residence. Investigators say that tip lead them to investigate further, and finding the body of Samantha Fleming, wrapped in plastic and hidden in a storage bin.
Investigators say that the woman pretending to be a Department of Child Services worker has been located in Texas, where she'd undergone treatment for depression. She has not yet been named. They say she previously stated she was pregnant with twins, but that there were suspicions surrounding that claim. The woman later told family members that she'd given birth to one child, but that the other one had died. It remains undetermined if she'd ever been pregnant.
Neighbor Dixie Friggle just realized Samantha Fleming was the the woman she would exchange neighborly words with.
"I wish I'd spoke to her more now. I mean I know her to say hi and we'd chat back and forth, but I just didn't know it was her, I'm sorry," Friggle said.
The news of this tragic story spread around Anderson.
"I read about it when it first happened and then I happened to see it today on Facebook and seen that they actually had found her," said Joseph Wasson.
No formal charges have yet been filed in the case. Officials in both Lake and Madison counties are continuing their investigation.