Melissa Alexander Photo by Courtesy of Colorado Springs Police Department

A 1-year-old girl who had been hospitalized in critical condition since early November died Friday and her death has been ruled a homicide.

Police have not released the name of the girl or said how she was killed.

The girl’s caretaker, 27-year-old Melissa Alexander, had been arrested on suspicion of child abuse and now faces a possible first-degree murder charge. She is being held without bond at the El Paso County jail and will be advised of the possible charges in court at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

On Nov. 9, police went to the girl’s home on the 900 block of Zamora Circle and found her with “life-threatening” and “abusive” injuries, according to the online police blotter.  The girl was unconscious and not breathing, officers said. She was taken to the hospital and Alexander was arrested the next day.

Read about Alexander's arrest.

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Family and friends told The Gazette that Alexander had been caring for the girl since October when her boyfriend, Matt Strickland, left for a month-long training exercise in Louisiana to prepare him for overseas deployment.

Alexander, who has a 2-year-old son, met Strickland a couple of months before and they had moved into the Zamora Circle apartment together.  

The girl died from her injuries Friday and an autopsy by the El Paso County Coroner’s Office on Saturday ruled her death a homicide – the 30th this year in Colorado Springs. There were 24 homicides in all of 2010.

Check back at for updates.

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