Texas Mom Accused of Strangling Daughter, 5, Who Pleaded for Her Life During Attack

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said in a statement that the suspect, Melissa White Towne, "does have prior history with CPS, but specific details of CPS investigations are confidential according to law"

A mother in Tomball, Texas, allegedly confessed to killing her 5-year-old, telling authorities her daughter was an "evil child."

On Monday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted an arrest update, identifying the suspect as 37-year-old Melissa White Towne. Towne was charged with capital murder and was booked into the Harris County Jail, Gonzalez wrote.

Towne's bond has been set at $15 million, ABC 13 reported.

"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, ABC 13.

The outlet reported that prosecutors revealed in court that the 5-year-old allegedly screamed, "I've been good" while Towne strangled her. According to ABC 13, Towne admitted to officials that she cut her daughter's throat before strangling her for 30 to 40 minutes.

Sheriff Gonzalez alleged that Towne drove to a hospital emergency room and told workers that she had killed the child, Fox News reported.

Upon inspection, what appeared to be a laceration and possible ligature marks were found on the girl's neck, Gonzalez wrote, adding that the child was pronounced dead at the hospital.

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According to Spectrum News 1, deputies searched the park for a sign of a homicide scene, but were not able to find anything. ABC 13 reported that HCSO officials confirmed the child was not killed inside the vehicle. A knife was reportedly found in Towne's pocket when she was patted down by deputies.

Melissa White Towne
Harris County Sheriff's Office

A spokesperson with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services released the following statement to ABC 13:

"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."

It was not immediately clear if Melissa White Towne has entered a plea to the charges or retained an attorney to comment on her behalf.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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