Florida mother facing murder charge in death of 1-year-old daughter

Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 16:16:24-05

A central Florida mother has been arrested in the murder of her daughter who she claimed was found hanging from a strand of Christmas lights.

Kristen Marie DePasquale, 27, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Ma Rice, Oviedo Police said Monday.

DePasquale was being held without bond at the Seminole County Jail, and it's unknown if she's hired an attorney.

DePasquale said she was taking a shower and had left her two children alone in the living room to watch television, authorities said. She said she heard her older son apologizing for hurting the girl and when she went to investigate, found Rice unresponsive and hanging with a strand of holiday lights wrapped around her neck, authorities said.

The fire department responded and rushed the girl to a local hospital where she later died.

Detectives later discovered multiple inconsistencies in DePasquale's statements, authorities said. The medical examiner also ruled the death a homicide by strangulation, and said the injuries appeared to have come from more force than the slightly older brother could have made, officials said.


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