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Mansfield woman faces capital murder charge in niece's death

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled the girl's death a homicide, but a cause of death is not publicly available.
Credit: Tarrant County Jail
Mercia Michelle Sneed is charged with injury to a child in the death of her 9-year-old niece.

This story has been updated with information from a search warrant.

A Mansfield woman faces a charge of capital murder in the death of her 9-year-old niece, police said Thursday.

Marcia Sneed, 42, was arrested Saturday on a charge of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury after the death of Melodi Sneed. 

She now faces a capital murder charge after investigators received autopsy results and have searched the home, police said. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said they have removed another 3-year-old from the home.

Mansfield officers and paramedics responded to a call at 12:38 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 4200 block of Eagle Drive for a cardiac arrest. First responders were told CPR was being performed on a child. 

Melodi was pronounced dead about an hour later at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, after first responders also attempted CPR and resuscitation efforts, police said.

A search warrant from Tarrant County Officials is providing new details of what detectives saw when they entered the home where the girl's body was found.

According to the search warrant, when an officer performed chest compressions on Melodi, blood came out of her mouth. 

There was also blood found in a different room from where her body was discovered, according to Mansfield police.

The search warrants states Melodi’s cousin told detectives he saw his mother on top of the girl, smothering her with a pillow. He also told detectives at one point he saw his mother with a bottle of peroxide, officials say. 

When detectives interviewed Mercia she originally told them, "she saw foam coming from Melodi’s mouth area and that she had wipe the foam off with some paper towels," the search warrant states. 

Detectives were able to gain more information from Mercia throughout the investigation. 

She admitted to smothering the girl, according to the warrant. She told officials she “smothered Melodi by holding a pillow other her face for two to three minutes,” the search warrant states. 

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled her death a homicide, but a cause of death is not publicly available.

The investigation into the girl's death is ongoing.

Sneed is currently in custody at the Tarrant County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. 

This is a developing story. Check back for new information. Download our free WFAA app to stay up-to-date on all news stories in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.