Bond set at $15M for mother who reportedly admitted to stabbing 5-year-old daughter to death at park in Tomball, court docs say

Melissa Towne, 37, has 3 other children ranging in age from 2 years old to 18 years old who have been living with other family members, CPS says

Here's what we know

TOMBALL, Texas – A 5-year-old girl is dead after she was reportedly stabbed by her mother while at a northwest Harris County Park Sunday afternoon, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Investigators with Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the child’s mother, who has been identified by authorities as Melissa Towne, 37, claims she stabbed her child in the neck at Spring Creek Park, located in the 15000 block of Brown Road in the Tomball area. Her bond was set at $15 million in court Monday. Authorities said she did not appear.

Harris County sheriff’s deputies said around 12 p.m., Towne drove to the emergency room of the HCA Tomball Hospital. Towne asked hospital personnel for a wheelchair because “her daughter’s body was hurting,” HCSO said.

According to investigators, an emergency room nurse walked to Towne’s Jeep Cherokee, where she found her 5-year-old daughter partially wrapped in plastic and mesh bags. Deputies said the child was unresponsive and a laceration was visible on her neck. The child was pronounced dead by emergency room personnel at 12:10 p.m., deputies said.

Officers with the Tomball Police Department were reportedly called to the hospital and detained Towne. Investigators said the suspect told officers that she killed her daughter at Spring Creek Park and drove her to the hospital. Since Spring Creek Park is patrolled by the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, they were called to the hospital. Once Pct. 4 determined the murder was allegedly committed in unincorporated Harris County, the HCSO Homicide and Crime Scene units responded to the scene and took over the investigation, authorities said.

Investigators said Towne was transported to the HCSO Homicide Unit, where she provided investigators with a statement admitting to intentionally killing her daughter.

Gruesome details

According to authorities, Towne took the girl to the park, walked towards the woods, got the child on her knees, and slit her throat, but the girl didn’t die. The child reportedly began screaming and yelled, “I’ve been good.” Investigators said Towne told the child, “stop fighting it,” and strangled the girl for 30-45 minutes. Investigators said Towne called the child evil and said she “didn’t want to deal with her anymore.”

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office accepted a charge of capital murder against Towne and she was booked into the Harris County Jail.

Child Protective Services has released the following statement below:

“Child Protective Services is investigating this tragic death alongside law enforcement. The child’s mother, Melissa Towne, does have prior history with CPS, but specific details of CPS investigations are confidential according to law. Ms. Towne has three additional children ranging in age from 2 years old to 18 years old who are safe and have been living with other family members.”

A GoFundMe has since been set up to help with the child’s funeral expenses.

About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.