Patrick Scott, 59, was charged with murder after human remains were found on his property
Police in Indiana believe that they have found the remains of a 17-year-old girl who went missing over five months ago buried on her neighbor’s property.
Rush County Sheriff Allan Rice announced at a press conference shared by local station WTTV that authorities executed more than 50 search warrants over the past few months to determine what happened to Valerie Tindall before finally finding a lead.
Rice said investigators gathered information and evidence that “led them to the suspect,” Patrick Scott, 59, who was also Tindall’s neighbor, though he did not disclose what specific information authorities obtained.
He said police searched Scott’s property in Arlington, Ind., on Tuesday and found human remains buried there. Scott had previously been identified as a person of interest, said Rice.
The remains still need to be positively identified by the coroner’s office, Rice said, though police believe they are Tindall's. He said the coroner’s office will also determine the cause and manner of her death.
After the body was discovered, Scott was arrested on a murder charge and booked into the Rush County jail, officials noted at the press conference.
Scott was previously charged in June with providing false information to police after allegedly lying about the last time he saw Tindall, according to WTTV. Scott allegedly told cops he had dropped her off in the town of Homer, located about five miles south of Arlington, and that she had gotten into a car with an unknown person.
It's not immediately clear if Scott has entered pleas to any of the charges against him, and attorney information was not immediately available.
"This is not the outcome we had all hoped for, but I want to stress to the public that this case is far from over,” Rice said at the press conference. “There is still more work to be done and our focus will now shift to successful prosecution of anyone who may be involved.... Justice will be sought for Valerie.”
The Rush County Sheriff’s Department issued a Silver Alert for Tindall after she was last seen on June 7 around noon in Arlington, Ind., which is located about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis, according to local news station WISH-TV.
Tindall’s mother Shena Sandefur told WRTV that Tindall had worked for Scott and that they had a bond “like they were friends."
"She worked for him, but she also hung out with his family, like his granddaughter was her friend and we went places with them," Sandefur told the outlet.
Sandefur told WRTV her daughter’s presumed death has left “a hole” in her heart “forever,” adding, "My daughter didn't deserve this, and we just want answers as to why."
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