Skylea Rayn Carmack, age 10, was murdered by her stepmother, Amanda Carmack. Skylea was homeschooled.
Skylea lived with her father Kevin Carmack, her stepmother Amanda Carmack, three of Amanda’s children, and three children of Amanda’s brother. Kevin Carmack was a truck driver and was frequently absent from the home for his job. The children in the home reported that Amanda Carmack regularly beat them with a belt and forced them to assume stress positions as punishment. She also kept the children confined to their rooms, only allowing them out for food and bathroom breaks; neighbors reported not knowing that seven children lived in the home. Skylea had been confined to her room for a week and a half before her murder.
Skylea’s grandmother, Brenda Helmuth, was worried about Skylea because she was rarely allowed to see her; she reported that Skylea was getting thinner. Helmuth’s adopted child, whom Amanda Carmack regularly babysat, reported that Carmack was “mean” and starved the children. Amanda Carmack justified her abuse of the children on social media: she related one instance where she nearly came to blows with a bystander who witnessed abuse of the children by both Carmacks and threatened to call child services.
On August 31, Amanda Carmack strangled Skylea to death, allegedly because she caught Skylea stealing a charm bracelet. That evening, she went to the police to report that Skylea had run away, which Skylea had reportedly done several times before. After a four-day search, Skylea’s body was found September 4 in a trash bag behind the Carmacks’ home. Amanda Carmack was charged with murder, neglect, battery, and strangulation.
Date: August 31, 2019
Location: Gas City, Indiana