17-year-old Valerie Tindall still missing: What we know so far

October 12, 2023 at 11:11 a.m.


Yesterday, Oct. 11, Valerie Tindall's family shared their concern over the police presence at 58-year-old Patrick Scott's house, the neighbor Valerie worked for, and the person who saw her last. Law enforcement had a tent on Scott's property near a small pond that the family stated was being drained. However, last evening, Valerie's family shared police told them Valerie had not been found. No statement has been released by the Rush County Sheriff's Department (RCSD) in regard to the law enforcement presence in Arlington.

So, where is Valerie? Here is what we know about Valerie's case to date.

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in June, 17-year-old Valerie Tindall left her home in Arlington, Indiana, telling her family she was headed to work. Valerie's dad, Jack Tindall, recalled her good mood and the big smile she gave him before she got in her green Honda Accord and drove off. Jack had no idea that would be the last time he would see his daughter's smile for over four months now and counting.

During the summer, Valerie was working for Scott, who owns a landscaping business. Valerie was primarily responsible for mowing grass and rode to most job sites with Scott. So it wasn't abnormal that she would go to work, although her mother, Shena Sandefur, noted she didn't usually work on Wednesdays.

When Sandefur arrived home from her job and found Valerie wasn't home yet, she called Valerie to find out when she would be home. When Valerie's phone continually went straight to voicemail, Sandefur called Scott and asked if Valerie was still at work. Scott's response startled her; Scott said Valerie didn't work that day, and he hadn't seen her since the day before.

When the family came up empty-handed after contacting anyone and everyone they thought might be with Valerie or know where she was, Sandefur called the Rush County Sheriff's Department and reported Valerie missing.

On June 10, a Statewide Silver Alert was declared:

**Valerie Tindall is a 17-year-old white female who is believed to be in extreme danger. She was last seen on Wednesday, June 07, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. in Arlington, Indiana, driving a green 2000 Honda Accord with Indiana license plate ZYK833. Valerie is 5'6" tall, weighs 162 pounds, has brown hair with hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a light blue shirt, jean shorts, and sandals. If you have any information on Valerie's whereabouts, please contact the Rush County Sheriff's Department at 765-932-2931 or call 911 immediately.**

The next update from the RCSD came on June 15 and was similar to the first, stating they were still investigating Valerie's disappearance and still believed her to be in extreme danger.

On June 21, the RCSD implored the public for their help. "We are asking the public to help find Valerie and her vehicle," the Rush County Sheriff's Department said in a press release. "We are requesting property owners between Shelbyville and Homer/Arlington that have deep creek beds, low-level fields, ravines, and properties off a roadway the vehicle could be hidden on or in barns or other buildings. Also, when you are traveling, be on the lookout for areas where the vehicle could have left the roadway and not be seen easily."

Then, July came and went with no official updates from RCSD.

At this point, Valerie's family had begun to lose hope they would ever see their daughter alive again. However, in August, another press release from RCSD suggested Valerie could be a runaway. "We believe it is possible that Valerie has been receiving aid from individual(s) whose goal is to keep her hidden," RCSD stated. "The RCSD is asking that everyone remain vigilant and keep on the lookout for anyone matching Tindall's description."

Sandefur said it was at this time that RCSD informed her the US Marshalls were involved. However, the family learned at the end of August that RCSD had found Valerie's Honda Accord on June 26, roughly two months before they were notified at South High Gardens Apartments in Shelbyville. Because Scott does landscaping work at the apartments, RCSD Major Joshua Brinson contacted Scott again, who, for the second time, denied seeing Valerie the day she went missing. In the same conversation, Brinson informed Scott that Valerie's car had been located, and it was believed he may be assisting Valerie and that she was with him the day she went missing.

At that point, Scott changed his story. He admitted seeing Valerie on Wednesday when they met at South High Garden Apartments in Shelbyville. She rode back with him to Homer, where he stated he dropped her off with a male subject driving a little blue car of unknown make and model. After dropping her, Scott said he went home. Scott further stated on Thursday he returned to South High Gardens apartments, retrieved Valerie's car, moved it to Berwick Apartments, backing it into a parking spot, where police eventually found it. He said he did so because Valerie had asked him to. Scott says he did all of this because Valerie told him she was leaving and never coming back and he was only trying to help her.

Police then informed Scott that Valerie's phone last pinged near Arlington, not Homer. Yet Scott insisted he was not with Valerie at that time. Valerie's phone also showed the last text she sent to Scott was at 11:23 a.m. and said, "I'll be there soon," according to the probable cause affidavit.

As a result, Scott was arrested for "providing false information to law enforcement officers relating to the commission of a crime, to-wit: gave a statement to RCSD Deputy Joshua Brinson that he had not seen Valerie, who had been reported missing/ knowing said information to be false, said act resulting in a substantial hindrance to law enforcement process," which is a class A misdemeanor.

Scott is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Nov. 8 in Rush Circuit Court. The formal charges against Scott are merely allegations, and Scott is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Since Valerie has been gone, she has missed numerous milestones and special family occasions: The start of her senior year, homecoming, her 18th birthday... All occasions that Valerie's tight-knit family can't believe she would skip without as much as a phone call if she had run away from home.

"Pray for her safe return," Sandefur said. "Pray that she realizes how much God, family, and friends love her. Her best friend is so torn up. She misses her so much. We all just miss her so much. Life just isn't the same. Our home is broken."

If you have any information on Valerie's whereabouts, please contact the RCSO at 765-932-2931 or call your local law enforcement agency.

Story reported by Cassie (Roth) Garrett

Regional Director & Correspondent for Whitewater Publications

Yesterday, Oct. 11, Valerie Tindall's family shared their concern over the police presence at 58-year-old Patrick Scott's house, the neighbor Valerie worked for, and the person who saw her last. Law enforcement had a tent on Scott's property near a small pond that the family stated was being drained. However, last evening, Valerie's family shared police told them Valerie had not been found. No statement has been released by the Rush County Sheriff's Department (RCSD) in regard to the law enforcement presence in Arlington.

So, where is Valerie? Here is what we know about Valerie's case to date.

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in June, 17-year-old Valerie Tindall left her home in Arlington, Indiana, telling her family she was headed to work. Valerie's dad, Jack Tindall, recalled her good mood and the big smile she gave him before she got in her green Honda Accord and drove off. Jack had no idea that would be the last time he would see his daughter's smile for over four months now and counting.

During the summer, Valerie was working for Scott, who owns a landscaping business. Valerie was primarily responsible for mowing grass and rode to most job sites with Scott. So it wasn't abnormal that she would go to work, although her mother, Shena Sandefur, noted she didn't usually work on Wednesdays.

When Sandefur arrived home from her job and found Valerie wasn't home yet, she called Valerie to find out when she would be home. When Valerie's phone continually went straight to voicemail, Sandefur called Scott and asked if Valerie was still at work. Scott's response startled her; Scott said Valerie didn't work that day, and he hadn't seen her since the day before.

When the family came up empty-handed after contacting anyone and everyone they thought might be with Valerie or know where she was, Sandefur called the Rush County Sheriff's Department and reported Valerie missing.

On June 10, a Statewide Silver Alert was declared:

**Valerie Tindall is a 17-year-old white female who is believed to be in extreme danger. She was last seen on Wednesday, June 07, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. in Arlington, Indiana, driving a green 2000 Honda Accord with Indiana license plate ZYK833. Valerie is 5'6" tall, weighs 162 pounds, has brown hair with hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a light blue shirt, jean shorts, and sandals. If you have any information on Valerie's whereabouts, please contact the Rush County Sheriff's Department at 765-932-2931 or call 911 immediately.**

The next update from the RCSD came on June 15 and was similar to the first, stating they were still investigating Valerie's disappearance and still believed her to be in extreme danger.

On June 21, the RCSD implored the public for their help. "We are asking the public to help find Valerie and her vehicle," the Rush County Sheriff's Department said in a press release. "We are requesting property owners between Shelbyville and Homer/Arlington that have deep creek beds, low-level fields, ravines, and properties off a roadway the vehicle could be hidden on or in barns or other buildings. Also, when you are traveling, be on the lookout for areas where the vehicle could have left the roadway and not be seen easily."

Then, July came and went with no official updates from RCSD.

At this point, Valerie's family had begun to lose hope they would ever see their daughter alive again. However, in August, another press release from RCSD suggested Valerie could be a runaway. "We believe it is possible that Valerie has been receiving aid from individual(s) whose goal is to keep her hidden," RCSD stated. "The RCSD is asking that everyone remain vigilant and keep on the lookout for anyone matching Tindall's description."

Sandefur said it was at this time that RCSD informed her the US Marshalls were involved. However, the family learned at the end of August that RCSD had found Valerie's Honda Accord on June 26, roughly two months before they were notified at South High Gardens Apartments in Shelbyville. Because Scott does landscaping work at the apartments, RCSD Major Joshua Brinson contacted Scott again, who, for the second time, denied seeing Valerie the day she went missing. In the same conversation, Brinson informed Scott that Valerie's car had been located, and it was believed he may be assisting Valerie and that she was with him the day she went missing.

At that point, Scott changed his story. He admitted seeing Valerie on Wednesday when they met at South High Garden Apartments in Shelbyville. She rode back with him to Homer, where he stated he dropped her off with a male subject driving a little blue car of unknown make and model. After dropping her, Scott said he went home. Scott further stated on Thursday he returned to South High Gardens apartments, retrieved Valerie's car, moved it to Berwick Apartments, backing it into a parking spot, where police eventually found it. He said he did so because Valerie had asked him to. Scott says he did all of this because Valerie told him she was leaving and never coming back and he was only trying to help her.

Police then informed Scott that Valerie's phone last pinged near Arlington, not Homer. Yet Scott insisted he was not with Valerie at that time. Valerie's phone also showed the last text she sent to Scott was at 11:23 a.m. and said, "I'll be there soon," according to the probable cause affidavit.

As a result, Scott was arrested for "providing false information to law enforcement officers relating to the commission of a crime, to-wit: gave a statement to RCSD Deputy Joshua Brinson that he had not seen Valerie, who had been reported missing/ knowing said information to be false, said act resulting in a substantial hindrance to law enforcement process," which is a class A misdemeanor.

Scott is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Nov. 8 in Rush Circuit Court. The formal charges against Scott are merely allegations, and Scott is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Since Valerie has been gone, she has missed numerous milestones and special family occasions: The start of her senior year, homecoming, her 18th birthday... All occasions that Valerie's tight-knit family can't believe she would skip without as much as a phone call if she had run away from home.

"Pray for her safe return," Sandefur said. "Pray that she realizes how much God, family, and friends love her. Her best friend is so torn up. She misses her so much. We all just miss her so much. Life just isn't the same. Our home is broken."

If you have any information on Valerie's whereabouts, please contact the RCSO at 765-932-2931 or call your local law enforcement agency.

Story reported by Cassie (Roth) Garrett

Regional Director & Correspondent for Whitewater Publications

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

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