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updated: 5/21/2014 3:52 PM

Mom charged in 3-year-old's beating death

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Associated Press

Prosecutors say a Chicago woman charged in the death of her 3-year-old daughter admitted she lied when she told police the child stopped breathing after a home invasion.

Prosecutors alleged at a Wednesday hearing that 24-year-old Maria Espinoza-Perez beat the child to death. A judge ordered her held without bail. She is charged with first-degree murder.

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Ashley Mendoza's body was found on the kitchen floor of Espinoza-Perez's home on the city's North Side on May 18.

During Wednesday's hearing, prosecutors contended that officers found the little girl's blood in the bedroom and bathroom. But they say police found no evidence of a break in or any blood near where the little girl was on the kitchen floor.

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