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Mother worried about neighbors; Concern for father overcame fear of nearby sex offenders

To assist her dying father, Tarah Souders made a choice: She and her three young girls moved to a run-down mobile home park in rural Indiana to help take care of him as his lungs rotted from emphysema.

She knew the move could be dangerous. The park of about two dozen homes was teeming with convicted sex offenders; one lived at nearly every address.

She worried about neighbors with sex offense records who had been helping her father get by, according to trailer park residents. Before she arrived, she asked her father if her children could be at risk for abuse from two men -- including the suspect now accused in her daughter's death.

"He said, 'No. They will not touch your children. They're doing everything they're supposed to do,' " said Greg Shumaker, one of 15 convicted sex offenders who live at the park and whom Souders had inquired about.

Not long after they moved, police say, her 9-year-old daughter, Aliahna Lemmon, was brutally killed. Police say Michael Plumadore, 39, told investigators that he bludgeoned her to death early Thursday with a brick, then dismembered her and hid her head, hands and feet at her grandfather's trailer before dumping the other remains elsewhere.

Plumadore is not on Indiana's registered sex offenders list but has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina that includes convictions for trespassing and assault, as well as an Indiana conviction for forgery.

Shumaker said Aliahna's family moved there to help take care of James E. "Shorty" Lemmon, 66, who also was a convicted sex offender and died Dec. 3.

Shumaker said he introduced Plumadore to Lemmon shortly after Plumadore moved into the trailer park, and Plumadore moved in with Lemmon a few days later. Shumaker said he knew Lemmon because they were both sex offenders and were in jail together.

Sheriff's department spokesman Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel confirmed that Lemmon was a sex offender. Indiana Department of Correction records show he was convicted of child molesting in March 2006.

Shumaker said Plumadore briefly moved away, but returned when Souders asked him to care for her father.

Aliahna and her two younger sisters had been staying with Plumadore for about one week because their mother was sick with the flu.

Shumaker said it wasn't unusual for Plumadore to watch Souders' children "because the kids liked him."

Authorities didn't say why Plumadore killed the child, but Sheriff Ken Fries said investigators suspected Plumadore was involved because of inconsistencies in his story that she had vanished Friday while he went to a store that morning.

A judge ordered Plumadore held without bail or bond at an initial hearing Tuesday.