PLANO, Texas (AP) — A North Texas woman was being held Wednesday on a capital murder charge after police said she used duct tape to suffocate her fiance's 2-year-old daughter on the day the couple broke up, then falsely claimed an intruder attacked her and the child.
Melinda Muniz, 25, of Plano was charged with capital murder of a person under 6 years of age, Collins County jail records show. No attorney was listed for Muniz, who was arrested Tuesday with bond set at $1 million.
Muniz allegedly faked a report about an unknown man breaking into the couple's apartment the afternoon of Jan. 9 and assaulting her and the girl, Grace Lillian Ford, police said.
The child's father earlier that day told Muniz he was calling off their engagement, wanted her to move out and began asking about placing Grace in day care, police said. The father contacted police after later being on the phone with Muniz and hearing screaming.
The woman and the unconscious child were found in the apartment. Both had duct tape over their mouths, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The toddler suffered swelling of the brain and was placed on life support. Grace died Jan. 12 at a hospital. The death was ruled a homicide due to suffocation, the affidavit said.
Muniz was taken to a hospital, where doctors examined her and determined she had not been sexually assaulted, as the woman claimed, police said. Officers determined redness in the woman's cheeks was not consistent with her claims of being punched in the face.