UPDATE (Sept. 4, 2019): Police say Skylea Carmack has been found dead. Her stepmother has been arrested in the case.
GAS CITY, Ind. — After three full days of searching, police and family members say there is still no sign of missing 10-year-old Skylea Carmack from Gas City.
Her family said she’s been gone since Saturday afternoon.
Indiana State Police have set up a temporary command center right outside the city. Sgt. Tony Sloccum said they re-interviewed people who are close to Skylea Tuesday.
“We’re still canvasing the neighborhood, searching for any witnesses looking for any video from nearby homes and businesses,” said Sloccum. “We’re utilizing drones provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.”
Skylea’s biological mom, Stacey Brandenburg, said she’s getting desperate to find her daughter. She and her sister have been stopping cars on the street to show pictures of Skylea.
“My baby is out here just anywhere, God only knows where, in the dark, by her poor little self,” said Brandenburg.
Skylea’s father, Kevin Carmack told us he thinks Skylea ran away Saturday around 4 in the afternoon. He was at work and Skylea was at home with her stepmom and six other children in the house. But Kevin said Skylea’s stepmom waited until that night to report her missing. He said – because of that delay – the Department of Child Services took the other six children from the home to investigate.
We asked DCS about that investigation but a representative said DCS cannot legally comment.
“She’s just so little and so innocent, it’s not fair. Why would you let her leave? That’s what doesn’t make sense to me,” said Brandenburg.
Brenda Helmuth is Kevin’s mother and Skylea’s grandma. She said Skylea’s stepmom texted her about 9:30 p.m. Saturday to ask if she had seen Skylea.
“We know that the last time she tried to run away was through the Gas City Park,” said Helmuth.
Helmuth said Skylea was headed to her house that time. They searched that same path Saturday night but didn’t have any luck.
“I mean Kevin is not getting sleep, I can’t sleep, you know we are all going and trying to find her, trying to see you know, what could have happened,” said Helmuth.
Stacey Brandenburg said she doesn’t think her daughter is in Gas City anymore. She hopes police and others move the search elsewhere.
“I made it to Louisiana at 12 years old by myself, so if I can do that, she can make it anywhere,” said Brandenburg.
Skylea is described as 5 feet tall and roughly 100 lbs. She was last seen wearing a black shirt with Mario and Luigi on it. Her dad said she has blonde hair and may be carrying a pink backpack. If you have any information, please call Indiana State Police.