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Coroner: Missing baby died from blunt force injuries to the head

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 18:06:58-04

MARSHALL COUNTY — Preliminary autopsy results for Mercedes Lain, 11 months, who went missing last week and was found in a wooded area in northern Indiana, was released Monday by the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office.

Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman announced the autopsy was performed Friday morning in Ft. Wayne, and lasted about two hours.

Results showed that the cause of Mercedes death was blunt force injuries of the head and the manner of death was determined as a homicide.

Justin Miller continues to be held in the Marshall County Jail in lieu of posting a $100,000 cash bond, according to a release from the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office. Miller is scheduled for an initial hearing at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

He currently faces one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, which is a Level 1 felony and is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

Lain was found two days after she was reported missing on the morning of Aug. 16. Justin Miller, the man who is connected to the baby's disappearance was found at a home in Starke County where he eventually led officials to Mercedes' body in a "densely forested" area near the Starke County and Marshall County line on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Lain's parents, Tiffany Coburn and Kenneth Lain, of Plymouth, Indiana were arrested and are facing a Level 6 felony for the neglect of a dependent; it is punishable by up to two and a half years.

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