Affidavit: North Texas woman admits smothering 9-year-old niece with pillow

Mansfield police say the woman charged with capital murder in the death of her 9-year-old niece admitted to smothering her with a pillow.

Mercia Sneed, 42, was initially arrested Saturday on an injury to a child charge after her niece, Melodi Sneed, died after going into cardiac arrest.

According to the arrest affidavit, that charge was upgraded to capital murder after Mercia was interviewed by police and reportedly told detectives that she "smothered Melodi by holding a pillow" over her face for "two to three minutes."

Melodi was found unresponsive inside the home on Eagle Drive over the weekend. She was taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead.

Police say there were several people in the home, including Mercia and her 13-year-old son. Police took them in for questioning.

When Mercia’s son was interviewed by police, he said that "he saw his mother on top of Melodi, smothering her with blue and white pillow," the affidavit states. He also said he saw his mother with a bottle of peroxide.

In her first interview, police say Sneed told detectives “she saw foam coming from Melodi's mouth area and she wiped that off with some paper towels.” She was arrested and charged with injury to a child.

After additional interviews, Police say Sneed confessed saying “she smothered Melodi by holding a pillow over Melodi’s face for two to three minutes.” Her charges were upgraded to capital murder.

Mansfield PD obtained a search warrant for Sneed’s DNA to corroborate her confession about attacking her niece. Detectives are working along with Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office as they investigate.