Court records say parents uncooperative in search for Mercedes Lain
Kenneth Lain and Tiffany Coburn, the parents of Mercedes, have each been charged with one count of neglect of a dependent in Marshall County.
On August 15, Plymouth Police responded to the Economy Inn to take the report for the missing 11-month-old.
Kenneth and Tiffany told police a family relative, Justin Miller, had taken Mercedes on Friday to give the parents a break. He was supposed to bring the child back the following day, but it was later decided he would bring her back on Sunday, according to the probable cause affidavit.
On Sunday, the parents contacted Miller and he told the parents he dropped Mercedes off with a neighbor because Kenneth and Tiffany were not home, reports said.
A Silver Alert was declared on Sunday for Miller and Mercedes.
At 3:30 a.m. Monday, Miller was located at a residence in Starke County, but he did not have Mercedes with him.
Miller was taken into custody and spoke with investigators about the missing child.
Miller said on Thursday, Kenneth contacted him about buying synthetic marijuana. During the conversation, Kenneth discussed the difficulty they were having with Mercedes, so Miller offered to take her for a few days, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Miller then provided conflicting reports of what happened after that, police said.
Initially he said he went to a McDonald's in Koontz Lake and stayed at the Starke County residence of a friend for a few days, reports said.
He then said he went to his girlfriends' home in Mishawaka, then went back to Starke County after he was kicked out of his girlfriend's house on Saturday, reports said. Miller then dropped the child off with an unknown woman at the Economy Inn, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Although he did not know the woman's name, Miller said he had seen her at Kenneth and Tiffany's room before. Miller thought this happened Saturday afternoon, according to reports.
The resident of the home in Starke County told police Miller showed up with the child on Friday, then left. He returned on Sunday without the child.
Investigators said they had difficulty contacting Tiffany and Kenneth and that they had not been returning calls.
On Monday, an investigator made contact with Tiffany at 8:30 a.m. She said she was waiting for a ride from her sister so she could come in and discuss her missing daughter, reports said.
When Tiffany didn't arrive, police spoke with her sister. Her sister said she hadn't seen Tiffany since 3 a.m. when she dropped them off looking for the child, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Police said the parents had been uncooperative in searching for their child.
Tiffany was taken into custody on Monday at 1:30 p.m. outside the Economy Inn. During an interview, police learned she had been in contact with Kenneth and Miller via Facebook messenger several times during the time the child was missing, reports said.
Tiffany also admitted to using methamphetamine on multiple occasions, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Kenneth was located at the Red Rock Inn at 6 p.m. on Monday. During an interview he admitted to talking with Tiffany and Miller through Facebook messenger, reports said.
Both Kenneth and Tiffany have each been charged with one count of neglect of a dependent.