I-Team 8

Dad faced previous neglect charge before 11-month-old found dead

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eleven-month old Mercedes Lain was reported missing by her parents on Saturday in northern Indiana.

Days later, she was found dead by authorities, and her parents were charged with neglect of a dependent.

I-Team 8 found the charge was not the first of its kind for Mercedes’ father, Kenneth Lain.

Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman Jr. said Thursday in a news conference, “Almost all of us, I can see are parents, the common thread that people have with a 11-month old, everybody wanted to find this Mercedes alive and healthy.”

According to the affidavit, Lain and Mercedes’ mother, Tiffany Coburn, left Mercedes with Justin Miller to babysit so they could get a “break.” However, after Miller did not bring the baby back, Coburn called 911. The affidavit says officers couldn’t locate either of the parents after the 911 call was made.

“After being interviewed, Justin Miller led officers to this location in Starke County,” where Mercedes was found, Chipman said.

Chipman says Lain and Coburn were each charged with neglect of a dependent, which carries a sentence from 1-2 years in prison.

Miller was charged with neglect of a dependent causing death, which carries a sentence from 20-40 years.

I-Team 8 learned Lain was charged in 2016 with neglect of a dependent and served two years in prison.

In 2008, Lain was charged with nonsupport of a dependent.

When asked if Mercedes death was an accident or if she was intentionally killed, Chipman said, “We’re not at that point.”

Chipman says this case is not completed, and the autopsy could bring more charges. Officials News 8 that they expect the autopsy results in the next few days.