TOMBALL, TX (KTRK) — The 5-year-old girl known as Nichole is seen in pictures always smiling, but the horror she endured is unimaginable.
Her mother, Melissa Towne, is accused of taking her into the woods at Spring Creek Park on Sunday, cutting her neck with a knife, and suffocating her.
In short, it was revealed that when she realized the knife didn’t kill Nichole, she strangled her for more than a half hour.
Nichole put up a fight, and at one point, even pleaded with her mom, saying, “I’ve been good.”
The mother replied, “Stop fighting it,” according to records.
Towne then said she sat on top of her daughter, covered her mouth with her hand, and placed a trash bag over her head. Deputies say she took her to the hospital because she wanted to dispose of her.
According to records, Towne confessed to killing her daughter because she was “evil and didn’t want to deal with her anymore.”
According to family members, Nichole’s father had custody of her.
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They sent a statement to Eyewitness News:
“We ask for privacy and respect for Nichole’s father, James, and our family as we all figure out how to grieve her horrible loss and try to figure out how to go on from here. Nichole has grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a father that all loved her dearly and never thought such a tragic event would happen to such an innocent child. She will always hold a special place in all of our hearts. We will always remember her as the sweetest little girl who never met a stranger. She was so full of love and giggles and her bright blue eyes shined so full of curiosity. We are hoping and praying justice will be served and the heartless monster who took our sweet girl away from us pay for the innocent life she took.”
Child Protective Services confirmed it is investigating, adding that Towne has a prior history with CPS.
A spokesperson said they could not give further details, because CPS investigations are confidential, according to law.
One of Towne’s old neighbors said he had to call the police on her several times.
“We always knew she had mental issues,” Alan Pffar said. “She would have arguments with my mailbox for no reason.”
Pffar added that he even had to put up security cameras because of Towne.
“One time, she was beating up on a car,” Pffar said. “I didn’t realize it was hers. She was hitting it with a baseball bat.”
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Those close to the family tell ABC13 that Nichole and her father lived with his father and stepmother in Magnolia for a period of time. Neighbors who live on the quiet street said they all took turns taking care of Nichole.
“He was asking for help, and anytime we could, we would all help,” a neighbor, who wants to stay anonymous, said. “He loved her. He was the best daddy he could be. We all knew something was wrong, and she wanted good for her baby. We kept her away, and we didn’t want anything to happen to her, so we tried to do the best we could. But I can’t imagine anyone doing that to a child at all, and when you find out it’s someone you know, and especially a sweet little baby, it breaks your heart.”
According to CPS, Towne has three other children between 2 and 18 years old. They are safe and living with other family members.
Nihcole, however, was her father’s only child.
Relatives said he had custody of her since birth. Amber Bradshaw is Nicole’s aunt and was also her nanny for over a year.
“He lived and breathed for her. When it happened, it broke my heart just as much as his, just completely floored me,” Bradshaw told ABC13. “She didn’t deserve this.”
Bradshaw ultimately directed anger at her niece’s mother.
“How dare you? What gives you the right to decide when somebody gets to live and when they don’t? Why is the ultimate thing. I’d just want to ask her why,” she said.
Towne is charged with capital murder and behind bars on a $15 million bond.
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