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The Scoop

Swikar Patel / The Journal Gazette
Scene at a Tuesday night candlelight vigil in memory of Aliahna Lemmon.

Verbatim: Coroner's statement on girl's death

Statement issued Tuesday by Dr. E. Jon Brandenberger, Allen County coroner:

On Monday, December 26, 2011, the Allen County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies developed significant leads into the investigation of a missing 9-year-old Fort Wayne girl, Aliahna Marie Maroney- Lemmon. With reason to believe that a deceased child was nearby, the Allen County Coroner's office and other forensic investigators responded to two separate locations, one of which was the Northway mobile home park near North Clinton Street and Diebold Road, from where Alianha had disappeared, and another at a nearby convenience store/gas station. Human remains believed to be that of a female juvenile were found at both locations. Officials from the Allen County Coroner's office and police crime scene technicians painstakingly documented the areas and recovered evidence. The remains were transported to the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center.

The major part of an autopsy was conducted today at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center, but the forensic examination will not be completed until sometime tomorrow. Positive confirmation of the identity of the remains will be accomplished through DNA analysis, but investigators are confident that the decedent is Aliahna.

Investigators believe that the perpetrator of this horrific crime systematically dismembered Aliahna after her death, and then placed her body parts into several plastic bags, some of which were recovered at his residence, while others were recovered from a dumpster at the convenience store.

Results of the autopsy today are pending until the examination can be completed tomorrow. While the cause of death has not been ruled yet, the manner of death is homicide. Aliahna is the 24th homicide victim in Fort Wayne and Allen County (the second outside the city limits of Fort Wayne) in 2011.

The investigation is continuing by the Allen County Prosecutor's office, the Allen County Sheriff's Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Allen County Coroner's office.

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