Little Gracie Ford was discovered unconscious in her father’s Plano home January 9. She was rushed to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where she was declared legally dead three days later.
On Tuesday, police arrested Melinda Muniz, 25, on a capital murder charge. The woman was ordered held in the Plano City Jail on $1million bond.
Plano police officers responded to an apartment in the 1500 block of J Place at around 1.40pm on January 9 to discover 2-year-old Grace Ford unconscious in her crib with duct tape covering her face.
On January 22, Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the child’s death a homicide caused by suffocation.
Grace was reportedly staying in the Plano home of her father, Mitchum Ford, who lived with his fiancee, Melinda Muniz.
According to Muniz’s arrest affidavit cited by the station WFAA, it was Ford who called police January 9 asking to perform a welfare check at his apartment.
Officers who arrived at the home on J Place found Grace Ford duct taped in her crib and Muniz lying on the floor of another room with her also mouth taped shut and her pants pulled down.
The affidavit states that the 25-year-old woman told police she had been sexually assaulted by an unknown man, but medical tests showed no signs of rape.