Skip to main content

Charges: St. Paul woman beat 2-year-old daughter to death

The 29-year-old admitted to losing her temper, saying she kept hitting the girl.
Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 8.00.32 AM

A 29-year-old St. Paul woman has been charged with murder after allegedly admitting to beating her 2-year-old daughter to death. 

Warning: This story contains upsetting details.

Ciasha Lee was charged with second-degree unintentional murder in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday. A criminal complaint reveals that the 29-year-old woman said she lost her temper because her daughter, 2-year-old Melody Vang, wouldn't stop crying and woke up a baby in the house. 

Police were called by the father of the child, who allegedly hung up on police to prompt a visit from officers at their home on the 1000 block of E. 3rd St. around 2:30 a.m., Jan. 10. 

There, they found Vang dead on the back porch. The toddler was wearing only a diaper and had been wrapped in blankets and a rug, was cold to the touch and had bruising and scratches on her head and body, according to the criminal complaint. 

Lee admitted to investigators: "I just kept hitting her" while trying to stop her from crying, the complaint says. Lee then put Vang in a closet and took a nap. 

When she and her husband woke up from a nap, she instructed her husband to get the girl from the closet, at which point her husband, who is the girl's father, found her unresponsive. 

The Ramsey County medical examiner found that Melody died from head trauma from assault, ruling the toddler's death a homicide. 

The afternoon before Melody was found dead, the landlord of Lee's home visited for home repairs and while there was "disturbed by the bruising on the girl's face,' the complaint details, noting that the landlord took photos and reported it to child protection services. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

According to the Pioneer Press, Ramsey County Child Protection Services was looking into the report over the weekend, though specific details about the case couldn't be released. 

Court documents show that the 2-year-old and her siblings – five children, currently ages 8 months to 11 years – were in foster care from the time Melody was born in September 2018 until early 2020.

The Pioneer Press says the children were allowed to return after both parents completed chemical dependency treatment and mental health evaluations. 

The five remaining children have since been placed in protective custody. 

Next Up

Mock aircraft cabin.

MSP Airport debuts mock aircraft to help ease flying anxiety

The pre-flight experiences cover the TSA screening procedure, exploring a terminal, boarding a plane and meeting a pilot, and preparing for takeoff.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

These Minnesota kids will be competing at National Spelling Bee

The upcoming event in Maryland will be the first fully in-person Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2019.

covid, kids

New data shows how omicron has impacted kids in Minnesota

The new data shows breakthrough data during the omicron period, which began Dec. 19, 2021.

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist, 59, killed after losing control on right curve

The Harley Davidson rider was thrown from his bike.

state capitol Minnesota

Minnesota's 2022 legislative session: What's happening?

A list of items agreed upon and yet to reach any bipartisan agreement in the latest legislative session.

water drain

Water main break floods 40-45 homes in St. Louis Park

The city says the rupture happened on Minnetonka Boulevard.

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, May 23

The latest from the state health department.

Related

Orancy Chea

Charge: St. Paul father lost his temper and fatally injured baby

According to a criminal complaint, the 23-year-old father admitted to losing his temper.

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.

Ep9gUdAW4AEIkR4

2-year-old boy fatally shot in St. Paul Wednesday afternoon

It's unclear if the shooting was intentional, accidental or self-inflicted.

Evonne Sharkey

Woman charged in strangulation murder of St. Paul man

The woman told investigators that she was fighting off the man.

Marlon Vincent Walker

Charges: Man with violent history killed Burnsville man outside St. Paul bar

The 29-year-old has three prior felony convictions and a pending trial for aggravated robbery.

Terrion Sherman

Man, 23, charged in brutal murder of young St. Paul woman

A 23-year-old St. Paul man is facing a second-degree murder charge.