When Army recruit Matt Strickland was assigned to spend a month training in Louisiana in preparation for overseas deployment, he reportedly trusted his girlfriend, Melissa Alexander, to care for his one-year-old daughter. The decision had fatal consequences: The tot's dead and Alexander faces a possible first-degree murder charge.
According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, officers received a call just shy of 1 p.m. on November 9 about a thus-far-unnamed girl who was unconscious and not breathing. The victim was transported to an area hospital with injuries that are described as both life-threatening and abusive.
By the following day, cops had arrested Alexander, 27, on suspicion of child abuse.
Strickland hadn't known Alexander long. The Colorado Springs Gazette notes that they met in June, then quickly moved in together at a residence on Zamora Circle in the Springs. And his decision to let her care for the child beginning in October likely seemed logical, since she has a two-year-old boy of her own.
In the month following this incident, Strickland's daughter continued to fight for her life -- but on Friday, she lost the battle. An autopsy conducted the following day confirmed the conclusion that the cause of death was homicide. As a result, Alexander's previous charge was amended to first-degree murder.
Alexander is due in court at 1:30 p.m. today to formally face this accusation. Perhaps at that point we'll learn more information about the girl -- like her name, and how she died far too young.
Look below to take a larger look at Alexander's booking photo.
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