Mother Indicted for Murder of Daughter - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/13/03

Mother Indicted for Murder of Daughter

Levelland PD Levelland PD

The funeral was heart-wrenching. A tiny pink casket, carried by four friends, containing the body of 1-year-old Melanie Rodrigez. On Thursday, her mother was indicted for her murder, making the news footage seem surreal. 18-year-old Angela Zamora, dressed in black, clutching a stuffed animal, sobbing, indicted for the murder of her own daughter.

"She's a good girl," said Janie Sanchez. Just after the murder, Angela's neighbors rallied to her side, casting suspicion on her boyfriend, 21-year-old Frankie Vustan. "We heard rumors that he beat her and suffocated her," said Sanchez.

But Vustan denied even being home at the time of Melanie's death, and over the past three months, according to authorities, has been very cooperative, testifying before the grand jury, and speaking to police on several occasions. Zamora, on the other hand, immediately sought an attorney after offering several different scenarios of what might have happened.

As to motive, police say they're not sure she intended to kill the child, but that the combination of physical evidence and the medical examiners report point to her. And, in a cruel bit of irony, upon Zamora's arrest, she'll be held in the Hockley County Jail, directly across the street from where her daughter was buried.

Authorites say that Frankie Vustan has not been totally cleard yet, but that he won't be indicted for murder.

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