A Texas woman arrested for the murder of her fiancé’s 2-year-old daughter allegedly lied to police about the girl’s death, faking a home-invasion and her own rape.
Melinda Lynn Muniz, 25, is charged with the capital murder of Grace Ford, who was found unconscious with her mouth covered in duct tape in her Plano home on Jan. 9.
Muniz was found tied up with her pants down. She told police she was sexually assaulted by a man with dark hair, black gloves, and black boots. Medical examination yielded no evidence of rape.
The toddler was declared dead three days later at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
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The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide after determining that Gracie had been suffocated.
Grace’s father, Mitch Ford, told authorities he had a fight with Muniz the morning of the crime and told her to move out of his home. The couple was engaged in December.
Muniz was arrested Tuesday after police discovered surveillance footage from a dollar store where Muniz took the toddler to buy the duct tape, zip ties, and scissors used to commit the crime.
“She took the child with her to purchase the items that she was going to use during the commission of the crime,” Plano police spokesman David Tilley told WFAA-TV. “Clearly premeditated.”
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"This purchase was made 40 minutes before Muniz made the phone call to Ford in which Muniz claimed that she was attacked,” the arrest affidavit states.
Muniz is being held at Plano City Jail on $1 million bond.