Patrick Scott, the man accused of strangling his teenage neighbor to death in Indiana, admitted to police that he buried her in a “homemade box in his backyard,” according to court documents obtained by CBS4Indy.
The records also reveal Valerie Tindall’s cause of death. CBS4Indy reports that Scott confessed that he strangled the girl with a belt.
Scott, 59, of Arlington, Indiana, is under arrest in the once missing teen’s death. She disappeared on June 7, 2023, and she was reported missing on June 8, the sheriff, Allan Rice, said in a news conference.
In a later news release, authorities revealed that the remains in the homemade box were positively identified as Valerie Tindall. Scott is facing charges of murder, false informing a law enforcement officer, and obstruction of justice, the news release says. An earlier news release says that Tindall was 17 years old.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Orange Fingernail Polish on the Body Matched the Color Worn by Valerie Tindall, Reports Say
The court documents show that authorities “uncovered two homemade boxes made of 2x4s and oriented strand boards during the search of Scott’s property,” according to Fox59.
Remains were found in one of the boxes, Fox59 reported, adding that orange fingernail polish on the body matched the polish color seen in a photo that Tindall posted on social media the day she disappeared.
According to Fox59, Scott told police that his wife and daughter “don’t know nothing” and said he kept wearing the belt after strangling Tindall with it.
“I put it around her neck and I held onto it until she quit,” Scott is accused of telling police, according to Fox59.
Scott purchased items used to build the boxes at the Home Depot in Greenfield, Indiana, Fox59 reported.
He’s accused of telling police that he and Tindall had previously shopped together and went out to eat and that the murder “just kind of happened,” adding that he thought Tindall was going to blackmail him “into buying her a new car,” Fox59 reported.
2. The Indiana Sheriff Says Human Remains Were Found Buried on a Property That ‘Belongs to Patrick Scott’
In a November 29, 2023, news conference, Rush County, Indiana, Sheriff Allan Rice said the case was “followed by many” across the state.
He said more than 50 search warrants were executed in the effort to try to find Tindall. “We discovered human remains buried on a property in Arlington. This property belongs to Patrick Scott,” the sheriff said, adding that Scott was previously identified as a person of interest in the case.
Scott was arrested for murder, said the sheriff.
Herb Stapleton, the FBI agent in charge of the Indianapolis, Indiana office, said that, in August of 2023, local authorities requested the FBI’s assistance into Tindall’s disappearance.
3. Valerie Tindall Worked for Patrick Scott at His Landscaping Business
Scott was long suspected in the case because he was the last known person to see Tindall alive, according to Whitewater Publications.
The site reported that Tindall last told her family she was going to work. She worked in the summer for Scott’s landscaping business, mowing grass and “rode to most job sites with Scott,” the site reported.
When she didn’t come home, her mom called Scott, who said she had not arrived at work that day, the site reported, adding that Tindall’s car was discovered at an apartment complex in August. Scott then changed his story, saying he did see Tindall that day at work and then dropped her off “with a male subject driving a little blue car of unknown make and model,” Whitewater Publications reported, adding that he was initially arrested for providing false information after a cell phone ping showed Tindall’s phone was last near Arlington and she sent a text message to Scott that said, “I’ll be there soon.”
On November 2, 2023, a woman shared on Facebook, “This is PATRICK SCOTT!! the man Valerie Tindall worked for and ‘allegedly’ the last person to see Valerie before she went missing!! If ANYONE, ANYONE has seen these 2 together or ever sees them together please call the Rush County Sheriff’s Department immediately ‼️‼️ Please if you can just share this post it would mean the world to me, SHARED FROM ARLINGTON INDIANA ‼️‼️”
4. Valerie Tindall’s Family Has Created a GoFundMe page, Saying the Family Is Dealing With ‘Heartache’
Precious Miniard, the aunt of Tindall, has created a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral costs.
“My name is Precious, sister of Shena Sandefur & aunt of Valerie Tindall. Valerie was taken away from us this year. If you’ve been following her story, you already know the heartache our family is experiencing at this time,” the page says.
“This GoFundMe is to help pay for any funeral expenses. At the time of Valerie’s death, her family did not have life insurance on her. We will be paying out of pocket for everything, so any kind of donation is greatly appreciated and so very helpful. Thank you to everyone who has shared her story for us, continued to pray, & all who helped us in finding her. All that’s left to do is put our baby girl to rest, get answers & justice.”
5. Patrick Scott & His Wife Tried to Console the Teen’s Family When Valerie Tindall Disappeared, Reports Say
“My daughter didn’t deserve this,” said Shena Sandefur, Tindall’s mother to WTHR-TV. “We just want answers right now. We just want answers as to why.”
Sandefur told the television station that Scott and his wife "tried to reassure them after her disappearance that Tindall probably ran away and would come home," the television station reported, adding that the two families were friends.
“There’s gonna be a hole there forever,” Sandefur said to the television station.