Listen Live

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. — A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Justin Miller during a hearing Tuesday morning in Marshall County.

Miller, 37, is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. If convicted, he faces 20 to 40 years in prison.

Court papers say the parents of 11-month-old Mercedes Lain put Lain in Miller’s care on Aug. 13. He told police that Lain died unexpectedly on Aug. 14 and he left her body in some woods in Starke County.

Lain was reported missing on Aug. 15 and Miller led investigators to her body in Starke Co. on Aug. 18.

An autopsy determined Lain died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman. Lain’s death was ruled a homicide.

Miller was being held Tuesday in the Marshall County Jail.

Lain’s parents, Tiffany Coburn and Kenneth Lain, are also charged with neglect of a dependent for handing her over to Miller.