A Minnesota mother has been accused of beating her toddler to death after the child woke up her baby sibling this week.
Police were called to a Saint Paul home on Sunday morning after an unidentified man called their non-emergency number before hanging up, the Saint Paul Police Department said in a press release. That man turned out to be John Lee, 42, the father of the child, identified as 3-year-old Melody Vang.
When police arrived at the home, Lee told officers that he thought his daughter was dead on the back porch, according to the press release. The child was found “unconscious and unresponsive.” Fire paramedics then responded to the scene, where they pronounced the young girl dead.
John Lee and the child’s mother, 29-year-old Ciasha Lee, were interviewed and booked on suspicion of murder.
Five other children, ranging in age from 9 months to 11, were in the home at the time. They have all been placed in protective care. It was the crying of the youngest child that allegedly threw Ciasha Lee into a rage, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Star Tribune.
Detectives said John Lee told them that Melody Vang was crying that afternoon, which woke the baby up. The mother allegedly admitted to beating the child.
“I just kept hitting her,” she said, according to the complaint, which adds that she told authorities that she “lost her temper.”
Following the alleged attack, Ciasha Lee found the child on the floor, cold and not breathing. The parents then allegedly rolled the girl in a blanket and rug and put her on the back porch to avoid disturbing her siblings. An exact cause of death has not been released.
Ciasha Lee has been charged with second-degree murder. She has been booked on a $1 million bail. It’s not clear if she has a lawyer.
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