A Florida mother has been charged with first-degree murder and child neglect after killing her 1-year-old daughter. Police say Kristen Marie DePasquale, 27, strangled her 1-year-old daughter Mia Rice to death with a string of Halloween lights and then tried to blame it on her 2-year-old son. Her daughter died a week ago Thursday in an emergency room in Oviedo, Florida. DePasquale was taken into custody Monday.
DePasquale called 911 the night of the incident, saying she had left her children alone watching TV, while she took a shower. According to her story, when she got out of the shower, she heard her son apologizing for hurting his sister, who she said she found hanging by her neck with the small pumpkin-shaped plastic lights wrapped around her neck. Responding officers attempted to revive the girl using CPR, but were unsuccessful.
From the outset police noticed inconsistences in DePasquale’s story. The shower and towel she claimed she used were both dry. She was also fully made-up, wearing makeup and jewelry, and had dirty feet. Most importantly, the strangulation marks on her daughter’s neck required an amount of force that was beyond the strength of her 2-year-old son. A medical examiner determined it would have taken four to six minutes to strangle her to death.
DePasquale became uncooperative with authorities on the night of her daughter’s death, and refused to take a drug test. She requested a lawyer Monday before being arrested. She has pleaded not guilty and is currently being held without bail.
Photo: Seminole County Jail
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