ARLINGTON, Ind. – The months-long search for 17-year-old Valerie Tindall, who went missing in June, has taken a tragic turn as her body was discovered on Tuesday on her neighbor’s property in Arlington. The remains were found hidden inside a barrel that was buried beneath a pile of rubble just yards away from the Tindall family’s home. The neighbor, Patrick Scott, has been arrested on a preliminary charge of murder.
Scott, who employed Tindall in his lawn care business and was the last person seen with her before she vanished, previously faced false information charges. He claimed he last saw Tindall in the town of Homer, but inconsistencies in his story raised suspicions. Tindall’s car was later found parked at an apartment complex in Shelbyville, with Scott admitting to moving the vehicle for her after they met there.
Authorities executed over 50 search warrants in the six-month investigation, with a previous search of Scott’s property focused on a pond. However, it was during a renewed search on Tuesday that the barrel containing Tindall’s remains was uncovered, hidden under the debris of Scott’s burned-down garage. Investigators also seized Scott’s pickup truck.
Valerie’s mother, Shena Sandefur, had voiced concerns about Scott’s behavior, including tracking her daughter’s phone and acting possessive. Sandefur believed Scott took advantage of Valerie’s vulnerability and trauma at a young age. The discovery of Valerie’s body has devastated the small town of Arlington, which has a population of less than 300.
Rush County Sheriff Allan Rice emphasized that the case is “far from over,” stating that justice will be sought for Valerie and anyone else involved. The investigation continues as authorities shift their focus to building a case for prosecution.
Valerie’s mother, devastated by the loss of her daughter, expressed regret over moving to rural Rush County to escape violence and provide a better life. She described Valerie as a hardworking, kind-hearted individual with dreams of attending college.