Less than ten miles from my home, a young girl’s family is grieving. After a holiday weekend clouded by tragedy, Aliahna Lemmon‘s family has some truly horrible answers concerning the disappearance of the nine-year-old. This poor young girl was murdered and dismembered by the man who was babysitting her and her two younger sisters.
When the story broke here in Fort Wayne, it already seemed confusing and a little sketchy. A young girl had gone missing from a trailer park on the outside of town. Her mother was sick with the flu, so Aliahna, who was partially deaf and blind, was staying with a babysitter with her two sisters. The sitter claimed to think that the young girl had gone home to see her mother. The mother thought her daughter was being taken care of. There was talk of sleepwalking. But the result was that a nine-year-old girl had been missing for an entire day and no one had reported it.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Fort Wayne police officers searched the trailer park and surrounding areas. The entire city was made aware of the fact that 15 registered sex offenders live in that specific trailer park. In fact, the young girl’s mother admits that she was nervous about moving her girls to that community because of the sex offenders nearby. But she moved in to take care of her ailing father and found trust in Michael Plumadore, one of the few residents in the park who wasn’t on the list.
By Monday, local news was reporting that the FBI had joined the investigation and was redoubling the search efforts. Citizens of Fort Wayne were heading back in to work after the busy weekend, and we were all discussing this horrible tragedy and the poor young girl who was either wondering lost in the city, or had met a more gruesome fate. While our city might be the second largest in Indiana, we’ve always operated like a small town. I’ve met every city mayor who has served in my lifetime. We’re traditional, conservative and very tightly woven. To have a missing child in this tight-knit community is almost unheard of.
Today, Fort Wayne learned that this poor young child was allegedly murdered and dismembered by the very man that her mother had trusted, Michael Plumadore. My husband recalled overhearing the news while stopping in to the gas station. He held our daughter a little closer this afternoon. I learned the news from my co-worker, who was in tears. She goes to church just a short way from that trailer park.
We’re a small community and we are all shocked and disgusted, but more than anything, our hearts are aching for a family of our own. We’re weeping for that mother whose little girl suffered such a tragic ending. And we’re praying for everyone involved in this horrific event.