$15M bond set for mom charged with capital murder in 5-year-old daughter's stabbing

Miya Shay Image
Monday, October 17, 2022
$15M bond set for mom charged in 5-year-old daughter's stabbing
The child allegedly screamed out "I've been good" as her mom tried to strangle her, prosecutors said. A nurse found her body in a mesh laundry bag on the floor of her mom's vehicle.

TOMBALL, Texas (KTRK) -- Gruesome new details were revealed after a woman who authorities said admitted to killing her 5-year-old daughter over the weekend was charged with capital murder. The woman told authorities her daughter was an "evil child" and she wanted to end the girl's life so she didn't have to deal with her any longer.

On Monday morning, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez identified the woman as 37-year-old Melissa White Towne. She has been booked into the Harris County Jail.

It was revealed in court that the 5-year-old allegedly screamed out "I've been good" as her mom tried to strangle her. Towne reportedly told officials she cut the child's throat before strangling her for 30 to 40 minutes.

According to the latest update from the sheriff, Towne drove to the hospital emergency room at HCA Tomball on Sunday and told employees that she had killed her daughter, and that the child was inside her Jeep Cherokee.

When a nurse went to the mother's vehicle and opened the door, they found the 5-year-old's body in a mesh laundry bag on the floor of the vehicle, prosecutors said in court.

When they turned the girl over, they realized her throat had been cut and she had been strangled. The child was unresponsive and had a laceration and possible ligature marks on her neck, Gonzalez said.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Child allegedly stabbed and killed by mother in Tomball, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says

The mother told deputies that the stabbing reportedly happened at a park in Tomball, but deputies didn't find anything related to the crime in the area.

The 5-year-old was pronounced dead at 12:10 p.m. on Sunday.

Gonzalez said that Towne admitted to stabbing the girl to death at Spring Creek Park in Tomball.

Towne was scheduled to appear in probable cause court, but was reportedly still going through the booking process. Despite her absence, the woman's charges were read and gruesome new details were revealed. The initial probable cause magistrate judge set Towne's bond at $15 million.

"She said she wanted to dispose of the complainant, so she decided to take her to a hospital. 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 read in court.

Units searched the park where the woman claimed the incident happened but did not find any scene that pertained to the child's death, officials said.

It's unclear if there were any potential witnesses or where the stabbing occurred, according to authorities.

HCSO officials said they confirmed that the child was not killed inside the vehicle.

When deputies conducted a pat down, a knife was found in Towne's pocket, officials said.

According to authorities, the woman reportedly has a history of homelessness, but the sheriff's office had not looked into the matter yet.

A spokesperson with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services released the following statement to ABC13:

"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."

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