TOMBALL, Texas — A woman accused of killing her 5-year-old daughter in Tomball has been charged with capital murder, according to documents.
Graphic warning: Some people may find the details of this story disturbing.
Melissa Towne, 37, was charged after she confessed to the killing during questioning on Sunday. She waived her right to face a judge Monday morning and had her bond set at $15 million.
In court, it was revealed that Towne made a conscious decision to end her daughter's life. Records show she took her daughter, Nichole, to the woods at Spring Creek Park. Towne said Nichole was evil and didn't want to deal with her anymore.
According to court records, Towne told Nichole to get on her knees while pulling a knife out of her bag. Nichole fought back and said she had been good, officials said. That's when authorities said Towne slit her throat. When she didn't die, Towne put a trash bag on her head to suffocate and strangle her for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, according to court documents. A knife was found in Towne's pocket, authorities said.
According to investigators, Towne drove Nichole to a Tomball emergency room and asked hospital staff for a wheelchair for her child, telling the staff her body was hurting.
An ER nurse walked out to the Towne's Jeep and discovered Nichole wrapped in plastic and a bag, according to court documents. Investigators said she had visible cuts to her neck and doctors pronounced her dead minutes later.
Investigators said Towne admitted to Tomball police that she killed Nichole at Spring Creek Park before driving her to the hospital, but authorities said they weren't able to find any signs of a crime scene at the park.
In court, it was also revealed that Towne is not the custodial parent of Nichole.
Child Protective Services issued this statement:
“Child Protective Services is investigating this tragic death alongside law enforcement. The child’s mother, Melissa Towne, does have prior history with CPS, but specific details of CPS investigations are confidential according to law. Ms. Towne has three additional children ranging in age from 2 years old to 18 years old who are safe and have been living with other family members.”
The family of Nichole's father, James Bradshaw, Jr., issued this statement:
"We are devastated and in complete shock over the loss of Nichole.
"We ask for privacy and respect for Nichole’s father, James, and our family as we all figure out how to grieve her horrible loss and try to figure out how to go on from here. Nichole has grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a father that all loved her dearly and never thought such a tragic event would happen to such an innocent child.
"She will always hold a special place in all of our hearts. We will always remember her as the sweetest little girl who never met a stranger. She was so full of love and giggles and her bright blue eyes shined so full of curiosity.
"We are hoping and praying justice will be served and the heartless monster who took our sweet girl away from us pay for the innocent life she took.
"There is a GoFundMe account set up for anyone who would like to help with funeral costs for Nichole. No one ever expects something this devastating would happen to them. We greatly appreciate any and all donations for her services and ask you please lift our family up in your prayers as we cope with the horrible loss of our sweet Nichole."