Woman convicted of killing adopted daughter returned to U.S.

Relates to:
Date: 2005-07-20
Source: dentonrc.com

Associated Press

An El Paso woman who fled to Mexico during the 2000 murder trial but was still convicted in the death of her adopted 21-month-old daughter has been returned to the United States, authorities said.

Mexican authorities returned Martha Yannette Melendez, 29, late Tuesday. She had been held in Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, on a "provisional arrest warrant" since U.S. authorities found her in November.

After her conviction in 2000, Melendez was sentenced to life in prison.

According to court records, Melendez's daughter was rushed to an El Paso hospital in 1999 and died short time later of "massive head trauma." An autopsy also found that the girl had bruises all of her body and a broken rib.

Melendez, who also has been charged with theft by check, is being held in an El Paso jail on $1 million bail.

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