ELKHART – The horrible death of a 9-year-old Fort Wayne girl is raising a lot of questions if parents truly know who is looking after their child.

Almost a week ago, Aliahna Lemmon and her two sisters were staying at a neighbor’s house while her mother was trying to get rid of the flu. That is when the unexpected happened. Michael Plumadore, 39, brutally beat Lemmon to death, put her in a trash bag, and then kept her in the freezer. Later, affidavit said that Plumadore told police that he cut up her body with a hacksaw and then stuffed her remains into freezer.  

Many people are asking why the children were staying with Plumodore. Police say he has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina for trespassing and assault, and a conviction in Indiana for forgery.

So we pose the question: do you really know who is looking after your child?

WSBT's Colleen Ferreira spoke with a family specialist, who shared some resources for doing a background check on a caretaker.

Angie Rosenbrock who works at Child and Parents Service in Elkhart says finding a responsible babysitter is one of the most difficult decisions parents have to face.

"I don't think you can ever really know someone well enough to trust them," said Rosenbrock. "They really need to do a good job of investigating individuals."

So where should parents start?

“Ask for references, check those references, and call each and every one," said Rosenbrock.

After checking references, experts say to do a background check on that potential babysitter. Some official background searches cost money but there are other ways to learn about someone's past.

You can call your local sheriff's department or do an inmate search on their website to see if they have any arrest records on file for this person. If they have lived in other states, you definitely want to check their background in those states as well.

You can also go to www.familywatchdog.us, which is the national sex offender registry, where you can search by a specific name or address.

"I think sometimes parents do over-trust," said Rosenbrock. "I couldn't say we could prevent these tragedies but we could go a long way in making sure.”

She advises parents to choose wisely. There is always a risk when leaving your child in the hands of another person.

Rosenbrock says to always have a handful of back up babysitters in your phone book, then, you are not tempted to call just anyone when you are in a pinch. Your kids are safe with the people you are leaving them with everyday.