‘We’re looking to establish a sequence of events’: FBI joins search for missing Indiana girl Mercedes Lain

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UPDATE: Authorities confirmed the body of Mercedes Lain was found in Starke County. The man she was last seen with was charged in connection to her death. We have more details here.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. — The FBI is now involved in the search for a missing 11-month-old northern Indiana girl.

Mercedes Lain is the subject of a Silver Alert. She was last seen with 37-year-old Justin Miller. While police located Miller Monday, Mercedes’ whereabouts remain unknown, according to Plymouth Police Chief David Bacon.

Miller faces a charge of neglect of a dependent. Police also arrested the girl’s father, Kenny Lain, and mother, Tiffany Coburn, on charges of neglect of a dependent.

Miller was described as a family friend who was watching Mercedes. Police said Miller and the girl’s parents were cooperating with the investigation but offering conflicting information.

Mercedes Lain: FBI now involved in search for missing Indiana girl
Mercedes Lain

“We’re looking to establish a sequence of events,” Bacon said. “We know Mercedes was last seen at the Economy Inn on Thursday evening. She was left in the care of Justin Miller. We were contacted on Sunday afternoon by Kenny Lain, Mercedes’ father, who wanted to file a missing persons’ report.”

Bacon said that led to the Silver Alert and Miller’s apprehension in Starke County early Monday morning, as well as the incarceration of the girl’s parents.

Investigating agencies include the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team, Indiana State Police, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office.

Bacon said police had received reports that the little girl had been spotted in Marshall, St. Joseph and Starke counties. They were still looking to confirm those sightings. Bacon appealed to help from the public in finding the girl.

Justin Miller (left), Tiffany Coburn (center) and Kenny Lain (right)

“Our main focus is to bring Mercedes home safely,” Bacon said. “We’re trying to reach out to anyone who had contact with Justin Miller or the Lains over the weekend or previously in the last week to reach out to us to provide some information on where Mercedes may be.”

Mercedes Lain is two feet tall, weighs 19 pounds, and has blonde hair with brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white onesie with pink trim. Bacon said the case did not meet criteria for an Amber Alert because Mercedes was willingly given to Miller at the onset.

Anyone with information should contact the Plymouth Police Department at 574-936-2126 or call 911. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward in the case.

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