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Man who killed 11-month-old girl in northern Indiana sentenced to 65 years

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 14:20:03-05

STARKE COUNTY — Justin Miller was sentenced to 65 years in prison Tuesday after he admitted to killing 11-month-old Mercedes Lain and burying her remains in the woods, according to the Starke County court reporter.

Miller pleaded guilty in December after Lain's remains were found in August in Starke County.

Miller said he was watching Lain — a relative's daughter — at his girlfriend's apartment in Mishawaka when he struck the crying child "a couple of times" while he was high on synthetic marijuana.

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Mercedes Lain (left) Justin Lee Miller (right)

After discovering that Lain was dead, Miller said he borrowed gas money from a neighbor, drove to Starke County and buried the body in the woods.

The Marshall County Prosecutor's Office said an autopsy found Lain died from blunt force injuries to the head and her death was a homicide.