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.
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.