MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 42-year-old St. Paul man has been criminally charged in connection to the death of his 2-year-old daughter, who was allegedly killed by her mother.
John Vang faces one felony count of endangering a child, which is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison if he’s convicted.READ MORE: Until Kids Can Get Vaccinated, Families With Vulnerable Children Stuck In Limbo
The criminal complaint states that officers were called to the 1000 block of East Third Street in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 after a man called the city’s non-emergency line and hung up.
Officers were met by John Vang at the door, who said his 2-year-old daughter, Melody Vang, was dead. Police found the girl on the house’s back porch, wearing only a diaper, and wrapped in bedding and a rug. She had a black eye and bruising across her body, as well as several cuts and scratches. Rigor mortis had already set in.
The couple’s other five children, ranging in age from 8 months to 11 years, were taken into protective custody. The victim and her siblings had only returned to their parents custody within the last year after spending time in foster care. The family had also recently left a shelter and moved into their current residence.READ MORE: Mankato Hy-Vee Incorrectly Dilutes Vaccines, Administers To 62 Patients
Investigators interviewed the child’s father and her mother, 29-year-old Ciashia Lee. She admitted that she routinely abused Vang, far more than her other children. In the hours leading up to Vang’s death, Lee said she hit, punched and scratched her daughter several times because her crying woke up her baby.
One of the children told police that John Vang also abused their deceased sister, and that they hit the victim with their fists. Melody Vang is St. Paul’s first homicide victim of 2021.
John Vang’s first court appearance is set for March 11.MORE NEWS: Rogers Police Seek Public's Help Finding Ignatius Afamefune, 71-Year-Old With Alzheimer's
Lee was charged Monday with second-degree murder without intent. If convicted, she faces up to 40 years in prison.
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