PLANO — A family is coming to grips with the death of two-year-old Grace Ford, who was found unconscious in her crib on January 9 with duct tape covering her mouth.
On Wednesday, Grace's father Mitch Ford spoke out about his fiancée — 25-year-old Melinda Muniz — who is charged with capital murder in the child's death.
An affidavit reveals the events prior to her arrest. along with inconsistencies in her story about what happened.
Mitch Ford told News 8 he blames himself for failing to see the warning signs.
"She is such a good manipulator and liar," he said. "She's been lying to me my whole relationship, and unfortunately, it's my fault. And now, I fell for it and my kid's dead."
He said he was shocked to learn the details of what happened to his daughter. Ford said he became angry when he learned from Plano police that they suspected his girlfriend of suffocating the child.
Police said Muniz staged a home invasion and sex assault, but investigators found evidence that she had committed the crime.
They said they have surveillance tape of Muniz going to a store and buying items that were used to kill the little girl.
Ford told News 8 Muniz was upset because they were breaking up. He believes she staged the attack to get sympathy.
"At the end of the day, what happened was she put the duct tape on Grace, and Grace suffocated and died," he said. "She had a plan to do that and the plan went wrong."
Ford said it's not the first time Muniz has been accused of staging an attack. He said on another occasion, she claimed she had been mugged at a grocery store in Plano, but he has since learned that was not true.
But he said he never imagined this tragic outcome.
"To me, it's completely insane," Ford said. "There's no way in hell I would have ever left my daughter with her if I had thought she was capable of that. There's no way. I would have never done that."
Ford also had a lot to say about the child's biological mother, saying that she was not involved in Grace's life.