GAS CITY, Ind. -- Bright pink signs with Skylea’s name and picture were posted all over a park, as a heartbroken community gathered to remember the girl that was taken far too soon.
“This is about her right now. We are here for her and her only,” said Stacie Thomason, a member of the Gas City Rescue Squad.
Wednesday morning, Indiana State Police found Skylea Carmack’s body hidden in a shed behind her home. Skylea’s stepmom, Amanda Carmack, has been arrested and accused of killing her.
“Remember her, don’t remember the act of what took her from us. Remember her,” said Nicolas Hobbs, who lives in Marion.
Since Skylea was reported missing on Saturday, volunteers and first responders have spent hours looking for her. As days passed, suspicion grew.
“We just search and searched and searched some more. Frustration just grows. Every day it gets harder,” said Thomason.
Less than 24 hours after the tragic outcome, Skylea’s mother and father, along with the community, held a candlelight vigil.
“Heartbreaking. That’s the only word for it,” said Thomason.
A few blocks away from the vigil is a big memorial for this little girl. Balloons, stuffed animals and flowers line the fence in front of Skylea’s home. An outpouring of support to show Skylea she was loved.
“It’s really sad to know that a 10-year-old little girl’s life got taken for no reason. She had a full life ahead of her,” said Hobbs.
Skylea would have turned 11 years old next month. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.