Neighbor strangled Rush County teen, buried her on his property fearing ‘blackmail’

Posted at 9:52 AM, December 1, 2023

RUSH COUNTY, Ind. (Scripps News Indianapolis) — Court documents are providing more insight into the death of once-missing Rush County teen Valerie Tindall.

On Wednesday, Rush County Sheriff Allan Rice announced the finding of remains on the property of Patrick Scott. Scott, a neighbor and boss of Tindall’s, was previously charged with false information related to Tindall’s disappearance.

Rush County Sheriff's Department

Rush County Sheriff Allan Rice announced the finding of Valerie Tindall’s remains on the property of Patrick Scott. (Rush County Sheriff’s Department)

Tindall was first reported missing in June. At this time, a Silver Alert was issued statewide.

According to court documents, on October 11, cadaver dogs searched a pond in Rush County to the east of Scott’s property. The cadaver dogs marked a hit for the scent of human remains in the pond, but a dive team search and SONAR search did not find a body.

Detectives quickly learned the dogs may have picked up on a wind scent from the Scott residence.

On October 12, a flyover of Scott’s property detected multiple locations of ground disturbance, which provided evidence to obtain a search warrant for Scott’s property.

During the Nov. 28th search, a team found a rectangular box wrapped in multiple tarps with human remains inside of them, according to court documents. On the hand of the remains was orange nail polish, which matched a description given of Tindall’s hand at the time of her disappearance.

The Rush County Coroner confirmed the remains found on the property were identified as Tindall on November 30.

After the discovery of the body, Scott admitted to the crime, according to court documents.

Records show Scott told police Tindall was attempting to blackmail him into a relationship, and he wouldn’t have it. Scott then tells police he strangled Tindall with a belt and buried her in a hole that was already dug on his property.

When police asked Scott why he killed her, Scott said that it “just kind of happened” and that he “wasn’t too crazy about” committing the crime.

Scott is currently being held in the Rush County Jail on a charge of Murder, Obstruction of Justice and False Informing.


This story was originally published by Scripps News Indianapolis, an E.W. Scripps company.