Neighbor asks people to ‘check up on kids and parents’ after Gas City murder case

GAS CITY, Ind. – According to court documents, ‪around midnight Wednesday, Amanda Carmack walked to the Gas City police station and said she needed to talk to someone.

When police arrived, she was sitting on the floor of the room sobbing. Police said she then confessed to strangling Skylea.

Neighbor Ashley Lopez said she met Amanda and Skylea last week when they found her lost dog.

“I’m heartbroken because I feel guilty in a way,” said Lopez. “Like I failed them as a neighbor, even.”

Lopez said she had no idea little Skylea was in danger and didn’t even know there were six other kids in the home.

“Because I didn’t see that many kids, and it just boggles my mind how I missed it,” said Lopez.

According to court documents, some of those kids told police Amanda would discipline them with a belt, make them stand with their faces against the wall with their hands up, sometimes for hours. They would be confined to their room for days, except to eat and go the restroom. One child said Skylea was kept in her room for a week and a half before Amanda reported her missing Saturday.

“She literally hugged me and cried and was sobbing on my shoulder, I cried right along with her,” said Lopez.

Lopez said at first, Amanda seemed like she was worried about her missing step-daughter and then over the next few days, things changed.

“And we noticed she was getting more and more secluded,” said Lopez. “We noticed something was up.”

Then Lopez learned of Amanda’s arrest.

“I feel terrible, I don’t want this happening, I want everyone to just kind of pay attention, spend some more time outside, get to know the neighborhood kids, check on them, you know?” said Lopez.

She said people should check on parents and caregivers too.

“Maybe they need a break, maybe you can offer your help,” said Lopez.

She said Amanda posted her frustrations with her kids online.

“I see posts all the time about you know, moms getting overwhelmed, a lot of times it’s joking but you never know for sure so, just ask,” said Lopez.

Court documents said Amanda didn’t tell police why she killed Skylea except for that she was very angry.

Now, she could be facing life without parole.

We’ll continue following this case.

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