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Melinda MunizPLANO, TX – Plano police have accused 25-year-old Melinda Muniz of murdering her boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter then blaming it on a man who broke into their apartment and raped her.

On Jan, 9, Mitchum Ford called police to request a welfare check at his apartment to check on his fiancee, Muniz, and his daughter, Grace. When police arrived at the apartment, they found Grace unconscious in a crib with duct tape covering her mouth and her pants pulled down. She was not breathing, she had no pulse, and her lips and face were blue. 

Police also found Muniz in the apartment. She was on the floor of another room and also had her mouth duct taped shut with her pants pulled down. She told police that an intruder forced his way into the apartment, restrained her, then sexually assaulted her. She told them she did not know what happened to Grace.

Police began CPR on Grace and called for an ambulance, but the little girl was declared dead at Children’s Medical Center three days later. According to her family, she died of suffocation. Early in their investigation, police were finding Muniz’s story inconsistent.

“What was reported to us that had taken place, there was not any way that could have happened,” said police spokesman David Tilley.

GracieThis may have been due to Muniz claiming she had amnesia and “could not remember the last couple of months and said her memory should come back in a couple of days,” according to the affidavit.

Against his attorney’s advice, Ford met with Muniz on Jan. 15 and had drinks at a restaurant, then had sex in his car. He said Muniz acted as if she did not recognize him and claimed she didn’t remember the last year-and-a-half.

It also didn’t help Muniz that medical tests showed no signs of a rape having occurred, and surveillance footage from a nearby store captured Muniz purchasing duct tape, zip ties, kitchen shears and cotton swabs just a couple of hours before police arrived at the couple’s apartment.

“She took the child with her to purchase the items that she was going to use during the commission of the crime,” Tilley said. “Clearly premeditated.”

On Tuesday, police arrested Muniz and charged her with capital murder. She was ordered held in the Plano City Jail on $1million bond.

Grace’s mother, who was in the middle of a custody battle with her husband over Grace’s care, made a post on Facebook with a little more information regarding Muniz’s arrest:

“Melinda Muniz, Mitch Ford’s fiance, is now in jail with capital murder charges for suffocating my Gracie with duct tape!!! She confessed. What a gross monster!!! She also confessed to cheating on Mitch, faking amnesia for the last two weeks, beating herself up after she killed my baby, and lying about herself and my daughter being raped in an attempt to cover up her sick murder.”

To make matters even more tragic, Grace’s grandfather contacted Child Protective Services just two days before police conducted their welfare check. CPS confirmed they had received a call informing them of possible child abuse, but they could not confirm the allegation.

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