True Crime News Roundup: Texas Mom Allegedly Strangled Her 5-Year-Old Daughter While She Pleaded For Her Life

Plus: Paul Flores found guilty of murdering Kristin Smart; Princeton student found dead; Man confesses to spring break murder of Brittanee Drexel; Mississippi daycare workers arrested for child abuse.

October 21, 2022
Melissa White Towne, 37, was arrested for the alleged murder of her 5-year-old daughter.

On Oct. 16, Melissa White Towne drove her 5-year-old daughter to the hospital after allegedly slitting her throat and strangling her to death.

Photo by: Harris County Sheriff's Office

Harris County Sheriff's Office

On Oct. 16, Melissa White Towne, 37, drove to the hospital with her 5-year-old daughter, who had a laceration and possible ligature marks on her neck. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital. Towne allegedly confessed to killing her daughter, telling authorities that she was an "evil child." The daughter reportedly pleaded for her life, yelling “I’ve been good” as her mother strangled her. Towne has been charged with capital murder and booked into the Harris County Jail.

Read more on People.

California man found guilty in the 1996 murder of 19-year-old Kirstin Smart

On Oct. 18, Paul Flores was found guilty of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Kristin Smart. Flores was the last person seen with Smart in May 1996 after she left a party at California Polytechnic University, where she was a freshman. Jurors unanimously found Paul Flores guilty of first-degree murder. He could face 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced. Flores’s father, Ruben Flores, who had been accused of helping his son conceal Smart’s remains, was found not guilty of being an accessory to the murder. Smart’s body has not been found.

Read more on CNN.

Missing Princeton undergraduate student found dead

20-year-old Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie was last seen near Scully Hall, where she lived, around 3 a.m. on Oct. 14. She was reported missing after her family and friends hadn’t heard from her in days. Almost a week later, at around 1 p.m. on Oct. 20, a facilities employee found Ewunetie’s body on the campus' outskirts behind the tennis courts. An autopsy will be conducted to determine her cause and manner of death.

Read more on CNN.

Man confesses to kidnapping and killing 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel while she was on spring break

On Oct. 19, Raymond Moody, 62, pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and murder of Brittanee Drexel and was sentenced to life in prison. In April 2009, Drexel, 17, was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for spring break when she went missing. She was last seen leaving a hotel a mile and a half from where she was staying. For more than a decade, her missing persons case went unsolved until May 16, 2022 when Sheriff Carter Weaver of Georgetown County, South Carolina announced in a press conference that Brittanee Drexel's body had been found on May 11, identified through dental records, and he also said that 62-year-old Moody has been charged with her murder.

Read more on People.

Four former employees of a Mississippi daycare are facing child abuse charges for terrorizing children with a Halloween mask

On Oct. 19, four former employees of a Mississippi daycare were arrested after video showed them wearing a mask similar to that of the “Scream” villain, yelling in the kids’ faces, and chasing the kids around the room. Sierra McCandless, 21, Oci-Anna Kilburn, 28, Jennifer Newman, 25, and Misty Shyenne Mills, 28, have all since been fired and are each facing three counts of felony child abuse, according to court documents.

Read more on CNN.

Next Up

True Crime News Roundup: Missing California Woman Found Dead In Remote Woods, Ex-Husband Arrested

Plus: Four University of Idaho students brutally murdered; Pregnant Florida mom found shot; Gabby Petito’s family awarded $3 million in lawsuit; Parents of boy found dead in washing machine charged with his murder.

True Crime News Roundup: Texas Man Accused of Kidnapping and Torturing Woman He Met On Dating App

Plus: Utah family of 8 found fatally shot in murder-suicide; Probable cause affidavit released for University of Idaho murder case.

True Crime News Roundup: Teen With ‘Infectiously Positive Aura’ Fatally Stabbed While Tubing Down Wisconsin River

Plus: Georgia college professor accused of killing incoming freshman; jury awards two parents of slain Sandy Hook first grader $4.1 million; South Carolina couple arrested for 2010 cold case murder in Kansas; four Kentucky officers federally charged in connection with Breonna Taylor’s death.

True Crime News Roundup: Brittney Griner Transferred To Russian Penal Colony

Plus: Colorado police launch new probe into JonBenet Ramsey case; Woman sentenced to life for murdering woman to steal her baby; California megachurch leader accused of torturing young daughter; and Texas medical examiner murdered at work by her estranged husband.

True Crime News Roundup: Virginia Corrections Employee Allegedly Killed His Pregnant Girlfriend

Plus: Nancy Pelosi’s husband attacked by intruder; 8 people dead in Oklahoma murder-suicide; Man accused of burying 6-year-old alive; Delivery driver pleads guilty to murdering runner.

True Crime News Roundup: Arrest Made In Fatal Shooting Of A Military Mother Visiting Her Son’s Grave

Plus: Woman accused of using kiss to pass drugs to inmate boyfriend who overdosed; authorities limit search for California teen who went missing after graduation party; Salman Rushdie attacker pleads not guilty; and ex-cop in Kansas suspected of 10-year sex-assault spree, police say.

True Crime News Roundup: Iowa Teenagers Allegedly Killed Spanish Teacher Over Bad Grades

Plus: Gabby Petito’s parents file lawsuit against Utah police; Handyman admits to killing New York mom; Massachusetts ‘Lady of the Dunes’ identified; Long-haul trucker accused of murdering girlfriend.

What We Know About The Suspect Arrested In Murders Of Four Idaho College Students

On Dec. 30, 2022, Bryan Kohberger was arrested in connection with the November murders of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin.

True Crime News Roundup: Dermatologist Accused Of Trying To Poison Her Husband With Drain Cleaner

Plus: New Orleans mother suspected of fatally stabbing her daughter; police make arrest in 1982 cold case murder of California teen; Gabby Petito’s family announces wrongful death lawsuit; New Hampshire police now investigating case of child missing for years as homicide.