Saturday, August 19, 2000

Parents accused in baby's death


Couple made pleas for missing infant's return

The Associated Press

        HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — After making impassioned pleas for the return of their 8-month-old baby, the parents were arrested Friday and the infant was found dead in a pond at Fort Campbell.

[photo] Kristi Melancon at her arraignment Friday in Hopkinsville, Ky.
(Associated Press photo)
| ZOOM |
        Kristi Melancon, 25, was charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and falsely reporting an incident. Her husband, 24-year-old Joseph Melancon, was charged Friday with murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and filing a false report.

        Patrolman Mike Wood, a spokesman for the Hopkinsville Police Department, said Joseph Melancon led authorities to the location of the baby's body.

        The body of Emily Rose Melancon was found about 9:45 a.m. in a pond on the military post, where Joseph Melancon is a soldier, said Capt. Carl Purvis, a Fort Campbell spokesman. The body was taken to Fort Campbell's Blanchfield Army Community Hospital for an autopsy.

        Accidental death has not been ruled out, Patrolman Wood said, but there was sufficient evidence to charge the mother with murder.

        Kristi Melancon appeared before District Judge Peter Macdonald on Friday via closed-circuit television from the county jail. The judge entered an innocent plea on her behalf and set bond at $507,000. A public defender was appointed.

        The couple reported the baby missing on Aug. 11, saying they last saw the girl at 12:30 a.m. as she lay asleep on the living room floor. When they awoke at 6:30 a.m. the baby was gone, they said.

        After the incident was made public, the parents set up an e-mail account for information and made impassioned public pleas for the baby's safe return.

        “We won't ask any questions. We just want answers .... We have no peace without her,” Kristi Melancon told reporters.

        The couple have two other children, both boys, ages 2 and 5. The boys are staying with relatives, according to reports.

       



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