A vicious custody battle has ended another innocent child's life. Melinda Muniz has been arrested for the murder of her fiance's 2-year-old daughter by suffocation. Police found Grace Ford in her crib with her mouth duct taped shut. Meanwhile, Muniz was also found with her mouth taped shut and her pants down. She claims she was raped, but police found no evidence of assault. Did she actually fake her own rape in order to cover up a murder?
Police found Muniz and the toddler after responding to a call. Grace was rushed to a hospital, but she was declared dead three days later. Grace's father, Mitchum, was in a bitter custody battle with Grace's mother, Emily Ward. You can imagine Ward's anguish at losing her daughter, especially under these circumstances.
The story gets even stranger. Mitchum Ford was the one who called the police, asking them to check in on his daughter. Ward took to Facebook to say that Muniz not only lied about her rape, but also cheated on Mitchum, faked amnesia, and beat herself up. Muniz and Ford were in the middle of a breakup.
AND: Security camera footage shows Muniz purchasing duct tape, zip ties, kitchen shears, and cotton swabs at a dollar store -- with Grace.
What a tragic mess. You have to wonder why Ford would leave his daughter alone with the woman he was breaking up with. He must have known it was unwise, since he asked police to put in a welfare visit. And I hate the idea of a woman faking a rape. There are too many other people who actually are sexually assaulted -- and then doubted -- for anyone to do that.
Did Ford ignore signs that his fiance was unstable? What kept him from leaving sooner? And what caused him to leave his daughter alone with her? I'm sure these are all questions Emily Ward would want to know.
A fundraising site has been set up for Grace Ford.
What would you do if you suspected your ex's girlfriend was emotionally unstable?
Image via Prayers for Grace