Mercedes Lain’s death ruled a homicide

(Photo supplied)

Autopsy results for 11 month-old Mercedes Lain have led to her death being ruled a homicide.

The autopsy was performed Friday in Fort Wayne, and found that her death was caused by blunt force trauma injuries to the head. The Marshall County Prosecutor’s office released the results Monday afternoon.

Justin Miller, who had been babysitting the child at the time, is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level One felony. He has a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday morning. Miller’s bond was set at $100,000 after Lain’s body was found in a wooded area in Starke County.

As Miller goes in front of a judge, the baby’s parents remain in jail — also facing neglect charges.

Lain’s grandmother, Angie Owens, says they tried to get the little girl out of her parents’ house, but the system failed.

ABC-57 News reports several community members have also started an online petition with the hopes of holding Marshall County’s Department of Child Services responsible for negligence in the case.


  1. We need to watch the judge and prosecuter to see if these people get to skate free with a 100 year sentence
    Eligible for parole in a year if their nice in jail.

  2. Children Services has failed so many children. They’ve allowed countless children under their supervision be murdered. Without and consequences or reprisals. When are they going to be held responsible for their neglect and mismanagement of our youth.

    • I agree. All over the USA. Child protective services gets leads and calls from family and neighbors about concerns. Often leads are followed up very slowly or they have to build up a case. Children cannot wait who are being brutalized and sexually abused. But having the government jump in for every claim is not good either as some people do it to get back at family or neighbors.

    • They won’t be. Just like they aren’t when they are wrong the other way. They remove kids and break up families based on their speculation and leave kids in harm’s way even with evidence. The so called experts are incompetent and ignorant.

  3. Please, please, please!! Yes, a hideous crime has happened. Also disgusting. But, no matter how it looks, these people are innocent until proven guilty. We simply cannot let our understandable anger break down our justice system. Then we would be like the Taliban.

    • They already admitted they handed over their daughter to practically a stranger because they needed a break. I would not have let them attend the funeral. They didn’t care enough about her when she was alive, what difference does it make now.

      • Exactly! The killers shouldn’t be allowed to attend their victim’s funeral. There is definitely a special place in hell for them!!

      • I agree with you! These so called patents should not be allowed to go to this sweet Angel’s funeral. I question the judge’s decision.

  4. I worked as a state corrections officer for 24 years . I know for a fact that the legal system coddles these kinds of filth and never really think of victims, its really sickening !!!

  5. It is heartbreaking that there are so many cases of child neglect and not enough workers to handle all the them. If there were more people working in the field maybe cases like this would be handled better because they could focus on each case more in-depth instead of being over run with too many cases to handle.

  6. They should not be allowed to the funeral.The County is responsible too,appends all over The Country, something needs to be done.

  7. I don’t think they deserve to go to her funeral. I’d they wouldn’t of killed her. They wouldn’t be in this predicament!!!! Shame shame. Throw away the key.


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