Father and Killer Have Been Sentenced in Connection with the Death of Indiana Infant Mercedes Lain
In August of last year, our FBI contact asked us to post about the disappearance of an Indiana infant who had gone missing. Mercedes Lain was last seen in Mishawaka, Indiana. Her parents left her in the care of 37-year-old Justin Miller. It was later discovered that Miller had killed the infant who was just shy of her first birthday.
On August 19, 2021, the FBI and local police announced that Mercedes had been found dead in a wooded area. Police reported that the girl's parents had dropped her off with Justin Miller to get a break for the weekend. When he didn't bring her back, a Silver Alert was issued. Both parents were charged with Level 6 Felony - Neglect of a Dependent.
In January, Mercedes's father, Kenneth Lain, pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent under a plea agreement and Friday received a sentence of 2.5 years in prison. This came after he was convicted of neglect in 2016, allowing a man to sexually abuse his older daughter.
Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman told 16 News Now,
Mercedes was living in the Economy Inn and the living conditions there were one of the bases of neglect of a dependent, along with transferring temporary custody to Justin Miller who had a background that no self-respecting parent would turn their infant child over to.
Miller received a 65-year sentence last month. He admitted to hitting this infant which ultimately led to her death. He then buried her in the woods.
Mercedes's mother, Tiffany Coburn, also accepted a plea agreement in January. Her sentencing is scheduled for the 25th.