Court records indicate that Patrick Scott, the neighbor and employer of the missing 17-year-old Valerie Tindall, confessed to law enforcement that he murdered her on June 7. Scott allegedly strangled the teenager with a belt and then buried her in a makeshift box in his backyard. The 59-year-old Arlington resident was apprehended on Tuesday following an intensive search by federal agents and local authorities, prompted by Tindall’s disappearance since June 7.
Scott, known as a trusted neighbor and Tindall’s employer at his landscaping company, faced preliminary charges of murder after human remains were discovered on his property, confirmed by the Rush County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday. The Rush County Coroner later identified the remains as those of Valerie Tindall on Thursday.
Newly unveiled court documents reveal the findings during the property search, where two homemade boxes made of 2x4s and oriented strand boards were unearthed. Contrary to initial reports of the remains being found in a barrel, court documents specify that they were located in one of the buried homemade boxes.
According to the documents, an officer spotted the human remains within the box, identifying distinctive orange fingernails on the deceased body, matching a photograph of Valerie Tindall posted on social media on June 7. The second homemade box contained VHS tapes and miscellaneous paperwork.
Following the discovery of human remains, Scott was taken into custody and confessed to the murder during police questioning. He disclosed that he strangled Valerie with a belt he continued to wear after the act. Scott detailed the process of constructing a box using materials purchased the day after Valerie’s disappearance, initially keeping her body in his office before burying it.
Scott claimed the killing was unplanned, suggesting he believed Valerie might try to seduce or blackmail him into buying her a new car. He denied hating Valerie, stating they engaged in various activities outside of work.
Valerie’s last known location, based on cell phone records, was near Scott’s home on June 7. Scott provided inconsistent stories about their last encounter, facing false informing charges in June.
Despite cadaver dogs indicating human remains in a pond on Scott’s property during an October search, no remains were found. A later topography study and flyover identified potential ground disturbances, leading to search warrants and the discovery of the buried boxes on November 28. Scott was officially charged with murder and obstruction of justice two days later.