A 37-year-old mother in Texas was arrested after she admitted to killing her 5-year-old daughter, suffocating the child and slitting her throat, authorities allege.
Melissa Ann Towne was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with one count of capital murder of a child under 10 years old.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Towne at approximately 12:00 p.m. on Sunday brought her daughter to hospital after the child had allegedly been “cut/stabbed by her mother while at Spring Creek Park (Tomball).” Deputy Constables responded to the hospital where the girl was pronounced dead at approximately 12:10 p.m. Investigators with the precinct’s Homicide Unit then responded to the scene.
After an initial investigation, Sheriff Gonzalez provided additional details on the incident. Investigators said that Towne drove her daughter to the emergency room in her Jeep Cherokee. The little girl’s body was allegedly inside of the vehicle. Deputies allegedly found her body “partially wrapped in plastic and mesh bags.”
“The child had what appeared to be a laceration and possibly ligature marks on the child’s neck,” Sheriff Gonzalez said. “Towne admitted to killing her daughter. The The Harris County District Attorney’s Office accepted a charge of Capital Murder against Melissa Towne and she was booked into the Harris County Jail.”
possible ligature marks on the child’s neck. The child was pronounced deceased. Towne admitted to killing her daughter. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office accepted a charge of Capital Murder against Melissa Towne and she was booked into the Harris County Jail. 2/2
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) October 17, 2022
Sgt. Ben Beall of the HCSO Homicide Unit said that after arriving at the HCA Tomball Hospital, Towne entered the building and “notified hospital personnel that she had killed her daughter and that her daughter was in her gray Jeep Cherokee.”
While Towne allegedly said that she killed the girl at Spring Creek Park, investigators were unable to find any evidence corroborating that version of events. Based on the evidence recovered from inside of Towne’s vehicle, however, Sgt. Beall said investigators believe the child was killed somewhere other than in the car.
Sgt.Ben Beall @HCSOTexas of the homicide unit Briefing media on the death of a five year old little girl. Her 35 year old mother is being questioned by investigators. #HcsoNews pic.twitter.com/z5P8m8gNQv
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) October 16, 2022
In a charging document filed in Harris County District Court, prosecutors wrote that Towne did “intentionally and knowingly cause the death of [her daughter]” by “strangling [her daughter]” with “the Defendant’s hand.” The document additionally alleges that Towne killed the girl by “placing a bag over [her daughter’s] head” and impeded her breathing by “covering [her daughter’s] mouth with the Defendant’s hand.”
According to report by KTRK-TV, prosecutors read additional details into the record during a court appearance in the case.
“She said she wanted to dispose of the complainant, so she decided to take her to a hospital,” prosecutors reportedly told the court during Sunday’s proceeding. “The defendant stated she wanted to end the complainant’s life because she was an evil child and did not want to deal with her any more.”
Prosecutors also reportedly said that Towne confessed that she “cut the child’s throat before strangling her for 30 to 40 minutes,” and that the little girl screamed “I’ve been good” as her mother was killing her.
Court records show that Towne is currently being held on $15 million bond. She is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday.
[Image via Harris County Sheriff’s Office]
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