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Autopsy confirms death by strangulation, homicide

by Tim Tedeschi , ttedeschi@chronicle-tribune.com

The autopsy of Skylea Carmack conducted Wednesday confirmed the 10-year-old Gas City girl’s cause of death as asphyxia by strangulation.

An Indiana State Police press release states the autopsy was conducted by Dr. Scott Wagner of the Fort Wayne Forensic Examination Unit at St. Josephs Hospital in Fort Wayne.

In addition to determining cause of death, Dr. Wagner ruled the death a homicide.

Authorities found Skylea’s body in a plastic trash bag in a shed behind her home early Wednesday morning after she was originally reported missing by her step-mother Amanda Carmack on Saturday night.

Carmack, 34, is being held at the Grant County Jail without bond on charges of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in death and strangulation, according to local law enforcement.

Grant County Coroner Stephen Dorsey also issued a press release Thursday, noting he was called to the scene at 5:57 a.m. Wednesday to investigate.

Dorsey said he observed clothing identical to what Skylea was reported to have been wearing when she was reported missing and identified the body. He also specified the cause of death was ruled as asphyxia due to ligature strangulation, meaning an object was used in the alleged strangulation.

Dorsey also noted while Skylea’s legal time of death is 6:55 a.m. Wednesday, the body condition was consistent with an actual time of death on Saturday, Dorsey says.

ISP representative Tony Slocum said in a press conference Wednesday that preliminary evidence suggested a time of death between 4:30 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, hours before Carmack reported Skylea missing to Gas City police around 9 p.m.