Sheriff's Office files murder charges in abuse case


Sheriff's Office files murder charges in abuse case


Date: June 21, 2013
by: Alex Mahadevan | Digital Content Producer


The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, June 20, charged Misty Michelle Stoddard, 36, with first-degree murder in connection with the death of her 11-year-old stepdaughter, Melissa Stoddard.

The Sheriff's Office charged Stoddard with aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm Dec. 21, after Melissa Stoddard, who suffered from autism, was hospitalized weeks earlier with severe brain damage, and died due to lack of oxygen flow to her brain.


Deputies had arrested Misty Stoddard and Kenneth Stoddard following reports the couple tied their daughter up and muffled her screams with duct tape, among other serious abuse claims. Misty Stoddard attempted suicide shortly after her arrest, and Sheriff Tom Knight had indicated further charges were pending following an investigation



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