Patrick Scott had a lawn-mowing business and had employed Valerie Tindall. (File)
After a gruelling six-month-long search, missing US teen Valerie Tindall's body was found buried in her 59-year-old neighbour's backyard in Indiana.
17-year-old Valerie's body was found in a homemade wooden box buried in her neighbour Patrick Scott's yard less than a 100 metres away from her house.
Following the discovery of the body on Tuesday, Scott was arrested on a murder charge, Rushville County Sheriff Allan Rice confirmed in a press conference. The body was identified as Valerie Tindall's by the coroner on Thursday but the cause of her death is yet to be confirmed.
Patrick Scott had a lawn-mowing business and had employed Tindall over the summer. Scott, who had been the Tindalls' trusted neighbour, soon became 'a person of interest' in the investigation of Valerie's disappearance.
On June 7, the teen informed her family that she was going for work, according to a police report retrieved by media agency HuffPost. This was the last time her family saw her.
According to reports, the accused changed his story several times after his arrest and initially told the police that he hadn't met her on the day she went missing.
After his arrest, Scott confessed to police that he strangled Valerie in the bedroom of his home that day. He also added that he continued to wear the belt he choked her with even after the murder. "I put it around her neck and I held onto it until she quit," Scott allegedly told police.
Scott told police that the teen had tried to seduce and blackmail him into buying her a new car, according to court documents.
The murder "just kind of happened," he told the cops. On being asked if he was troubled by the murder, the accused allegedly said that he "wasn't too crazy about it."
On October 11, nearly half a year later, with the help of sniffer dogs, the police made a major breakthrough and established that human remains were present in the compound.
On November 28, they returned to further investigate their findings. The officers found a large pile of dirt on Scott's property. After digging up the ground, they found the box the teenager had been buried in all this while.
The remains in the box included fingernails painted with orange polish which matched a picture Tindall had shared on her social media profile on June 7, documents said.
After the brutal murder investigation was solved, her mother Shena Sandefur, told media agency WRTV-TV that Valerie and Scott "had a bond - they were friends."
Tindall's mother said that, "She worked for him, but she also hung out with his family. His granddaughter was her friend."
However, Ms Sandefur told news agency FOX 59 that she had become uneasy about how Patrick Scott was treating her daughter.
Ms Sandefur added that the accused acted like a "jealous boyfriend" and even tracked the teen's phone. However, Tindall did not see anything wrong with the relationship, she said, because Scott was her boss.
Valerie Tindall, who had just finished her 11th grade in high school, loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian, her parents told reporters following a news conference Wednesday announcing Scott's arrest.