North Texas woman to be charged with capital murder in death of her 9-year-old niece

Mansfield police said a 9-year-old girl was murdered over the weekend, and they believe her aunt is the one who killed her.

Mercia Sneed was initially arrested Saturday on an injury to a child charge.

Investigators believe she hurt her niece, 9-year-old Melodi Sneed, so badly that she went into cardiac arrest.

First responders tried to save her, and she was taken to an area hospital, but later pronounced dead.

“It’s absolutely disheartening to assist paramedics on a cardiac arrest call,” said Hillary Greene, who lives across the street from where police where initially called.

Greene and her neighbors said their street was blocked off by crime scene tape well into the next morning.

“There were several emergency responders, EMS, firefighters, police,” she said.

She said she doesn’t know much about the people who lived in that home.

“They couldn’t have probably been there more than two or three weeks at most,” Greene added.

Investigators are not yet releasing details about what led to the initial call, or why the child’s aunt was arrested.

But the initial injury to a child charge against Sneed has been upgraded to capital murder.

Mansfield PD Sergeant Travis Waybourn said that at this point, officers are not investigating any other family members in connection with Melodi’s death.

 “It can be emotional for everybody involved. Obviously, our sympathy goes out to the family,” he said. “We’re going to do the little girl justice and complete our investigation.”