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Crime News Missing Persons

Indiana Man Confesses to Killing Missing Teen After Her Remains Were Found on His Property

Missing teen Valerie Tindall's neighbor Patrick Scott allegedly said, “It just kind of happened,” when police asked him why he killed her.

By Elisabeth Ford
A police handout of Valerie Tindall

A five-month-long search for a missing Indiana teen has ended with her neighbor confessing to killing her and burying her in his yard.

Patrick Scott, 59, was arrested Tuesday after authorities found remains that were later identified as 17-year-old Valerie Tindall on his property, Indianapolis-based station WRTV reported.

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According to the news station, a Silver Alert was issued statewide in June when Tindall was first reported missing.

When was Valerie Tindall's body found?

On November 28, five months after the teen’s disappearance, investigators issued a search warrant on Scott’s property after finding disturbances on the land a month earlier. There, they found human remains inside a box wrapped in multiple tarps, according to WRTV, citing court documents. The Rush County Coroner confirmed the identity of the remains to be Tindall on November 30.

Who killed Valerie Tindall?

Scott was charged with murder and booked into Rush County Jail on Tuesday, CBS affiliate WTTV reported. Scott was Tindall’s neighbor, as well as her boss after he employed her in his landscaping business.

A police handout of Patrick Scott

Who was the last person to see Valerie Tindall alive?

Scott was reportedly the last person to see the teen alive before she disappeared on June 7. According to Tindall’s mother, Shena Sandefur, a separate individual overheard a conversation between Scott and Tindall about getting lunch in Indianapolis on June 7 and that he planned to take her “someplace special,” according to WTTV.

Sandefur said she felt uneasy about Scott’s relationship with her daughter, claiming that he was acting like a “jealous boyfriend” and allegedly tracked Tindall’s phone.

Scott was previously charged in June with falsifying information to police when they noticed inconsistencies in his story about the last time he saw Tindall. He claimed at the time that he dropped her off in the town of Homer, roughly five miles from Arlington, and that she got into a vehicle with an unknown male, WTTV reported.

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After the remains were discovered on his property, Scott was taken into custody and questioned by police. According to court documents obtained by Fox 59, Scott then admitted to killing the teen, claiming that he thought she was going to seduce him.

How and why did Patrick Scott kill Valerie Tindall?

He told police that he strangled Tindall with a belt, wrapped her in plastic and put her in a homemade box, according to court documents. He said he then screwed it shut, wheeled the box out to a hole on his property and dropped it there. When police asked him why he killed her, Scott said, “It just kind of happened,” WRTV reported, citing documents.

According to a police report obtained by Fox 59, officials searched Scott’s property on October 11, where cadaver dogs picked up a positive scent of human remains in a pond on the property. When the pond turned up empty, police noted that the scent could have been picked up by the wind, which was coming from the direction of the box that held Tindall’s remains.

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Police requested a search warrant November 27 and descended on his property a day later, where they found two homemade boxes. In one, they found Tindall's remains. In the other, they found VHS tapes and miscellaneous papers. 

In addition to his murder charge, Scott was charged with obstruction of justice, WRTV reported.

"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,” Rush County Seriff Allen Rice said at a press conference Wednesday that was posted by WTTV. “There is still more work to be done and our focus will now shift to successful prosecution of anyone who may be involved.”

He added: “I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to Valerie’s friends and family, and our community and the officers involved, who have been affected by this case. Justice will be sought for Valerie.”

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