A woman from Illinois is accused of using fake baby cries from a computer to conceal her daughter's death. Ana Marie Townsend, just two years old, was found dead at the scene of a vacant house fire in Markham in July 2017.

Melody Townsend, 40, Charged With 2 Counts of Child Endangerment, Concealing/Aiding a Fugitive

Her death was ruled a homicide, and Melody has been charged with child endangerment and concealing/aiding a fugitive.

Fox 32, Chicago
Fox 32, Chicago

According to court documents, Melody left Ana with her father while she went to work one day. When she returned, Ana Marie was not breathing, and Melody alleges that she saw the father put the toddler in a car seat and drive away.

She did not call 911 or try to help the toddler, and a few days later, Ana Marie's body was discovered in a plastic bag following the house fire.

Read More: Illinois Parents Want To Know When Target’s Next Car Seat Trade-In Event Is?

In the months that followed, Melody's parents repeatedly inquired about Ana Marie's whereabouts, and Melody gave various answers that she later admitted were lies.

On one occasion, a grandparent heard crying on the phone but did not recognize it to be Ana Marie. Melody played fake baby cries from the internet while telling the grandparent that Ana Marie sounded different "because she was not feeling well."

Fox 32, Chicago
Fox 32, Chicago

The actions taken by Melody Townsend to conceal her daughter's death are both baffling and disturbing. Using fake baby cries from the internet shows a level of premeditation and an attempt to deceive those who may have been suspicious of the child's whereabouts.

The actions of the accused are inexcusable

The fact that Ana Marie was already deceased when the arson fire occurred only adds to the tragedy of the situation.

The presence of alcohol, barbiturates, and cannabis in Ana Marie's system is a cause for concern and raises questions about the care she received before her death.

It is unclear why Melody did not seek medical attention for her daughter when she found her not breathing, or why she did not call for emergency assistance.

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)


More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5