The Grace Ford case: What really happened in Apartment 331?

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by MARIE SAAVEDRA

Bio | Email | Follow: @MSaavedraTV

WFAA

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 29 at 11:51 PM

Toddler slain

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PLANO — There are three distinct accounts of what happened the afternoon of January 9 in Apartment 331 at the Eastside Village Apartments in Plano.

What we know is that inside this door was a blonde two-year-old, Grace Ford, who loved singing in the car.

With her was her father’s fiancée, 25-year-old Melinda Muniz.

Our first perspective comes from Jenifer Meier, who lives in the apartment downstairs.

“I just heard some kind of furniture being moved around,” she said, thinking that the couple and toddler might be moving out.

Meier clearly remembers reading in her bedroom and hearing sounds that made her concerned.

"Over my head — which would be their bedroom — there were two really loud thuds, and that really got my attention," Meier said.

This is where Melinda Muniz's version of events comes in, outlined in a police affidavit.

She told investigators that a unknown man made his way into her apartment, hitting her in the face and forcing her to the ground before duct-taping her mouth and sexually assaulting her.

Muniz said she presumed the attacker did the same to Grace in another room.

Police arrived to find Muniz with duct tape covering her mouth, and after removing it, she yelled, "Get him out of here!" Her pants were down at her knees.

In the living room, the coffee table was thrown on its side, and two bar stools were knocked over.

But Plano detectives have their own take on what happened in Apartment 331. They believe Muniz herself is responsible for what happened to Grace, and the cover-up that followed.

"At this point, all the evidence suggests that she was working alone in this," said Plano police spokesman Officer David Tilley.

Investigators say the strewn furniture and attacker story don’t jibe. Doctors found no evidence that Muniz had been sexually assaulted. But they’ve found enough to see her charged with capital murder for Grace Ford’s death.

Late Wednesday night, Grace’s father, Mitch Ford, visited Muniz, where she’s being held at the Collin County Jail.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com

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