[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A mom has been arrested after her 5-year-old daughter went missing… and the unthinkable was found in her apartment.
The family of 27-year-old Alexus Tanielle Nelson got quite the shock last Tuesday when they received some alarming messages from her. Nelson’s mother quickly called 911 and alerted the Aurora Police Department in Colorado after certain messages gave her a bad feeling. Alexus texted to say she’d put her daughter Maha Li Hobbs up for adoption, leaving the little girl’s grandmother frightened and confused. The text read:
“My rent has gone up again so rehoming and I’ve been looking at fostering.”
This was such an out-of-nowhere statement that the grandmother felt she had no choice but to call the police, who later responded to Nelson’s apartment to see what was going on. Upon their arrival, according to an affidavit obtained by Law&Crime, the mother claimed she’d had a “closed adoption” through the Adoptions with Love agency. This story fell apart all too quickly, though, when officers contacted the agency — and they responded they had no idea who Nelson was…
As the police pressed on the suspect, she then “changed her story” and said the agency had actually suggested other facilities to work with. Nelson then said her daughter had been adopted by an “unidentified couple” — but she’d thrown out all the paperwork to keep from her family finding the 5-year-old.
So sus already, but it only gets more chilling from there…
Police seized the mom’s phone after not being able to find even any evidence of the adoption agency she’d claimed to have used. Instead of emails about adoption, they found more disturbing things. Nelson had Googled things such as “can you overdose from melatonin?” and “can you overdose from Xanax?” Not only that, they found videos of the missing little girl, in which she “appeared to be saying goodbye to family.” One of the videos, recorded May 3, was the last time anyone saw Maha Li alive.
On May 5, police were told, an apartment building maintenance worker conducted a routine inspection of Nelson’s apartment. While in Maha Li’s room, he found that her bedroom door had been “tied with a string” to the bathroom door to keep from it being opened. It was at this point Nelson allegedly “began yelling at him via a baby monitor to leave,” so he got the heck out of there. When the police did their search last week, they noticed there were no children’s items in the apartment, and the girls’ room in particular was covered in “various stains of unknown origin.”
All of these indicators were pointing toward one horrifying answer… and sadly, police made a horrifying discovery in the 5-year-old’s home that proved it.
In a utility closet, police found a bunch of children’s items in storage, along with “the distinct odor of decomposing flesh.” In a small plastic bag, they found “what appeared to be charred human remains,” which was later confirmed by the Coroner’s Office to be just that. While they’ve not made any confirmations, Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a press conference on Thursday:
“We are very confident that this is our victim. There’s a high probability that murder charges will end up being filed.”
According to the affidavit, police believe Nelson placed the little girl in a situation “that resulted in her death,” before she “then attempted to hinder the resulting investigation by lying about an adoption and burning the remains.” Maha Li’s grandmother also added that Nelson tried to keep her pregnancy a secret, and initially wanted to give up the child for adoption before she changed her mind. The father has allegedly had no contact with mother or child in over 2 years.
On Tuesday, Nelson was formally charged with child abuse and knowingly causing death. She remains in Arapahoe County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.
Such a terrible situation. Hopefully this family will get some clear answers soon so they can begin to heal.