Mom Who Left 5-Year-Old Daughter's Remains in Closet and Fireplace Sentenced to 84 Years for Murder

“This mother knew about available adoption programs that could have cared for this 5-year-old but instead, she chose murder,” District Attorney John Kellner said

<p>District Attorneys Office</p> Alexus Nelson -- mugshot

District Attorneys Office

Alexus Nelson -- mugshot

A Colorado mother has been sentenced to 84 years in prison for the 2023 murder of her 5-year-old daughter, per authorities.

On Wednesday, June 12, 28-year-old Alexus Tanielle Nelson pleaded guilty to three felonies — second-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body and attempting to influence a public servant, per a press release.

Related: Fla. Mom Killed Her Baby in Exact Spot Where Husband Proposed to Her: 'Sorry for What I'm About to Do'

Nelson’s charges were in connection with the death of her daughter Maha Li Hobbs.

The child’s charred remains were found in Nelson’s apartment in the 1000 block of S. Elkhart Street after the Aurora Police Department responded to a welfare check.

The visit from authorities was requested by Nelson’s mother, who said Nelson made “concerning statements” to her via text, and the grandmother had not heard or seen the child in approximately 3 weeks.

<p>Colorado Bureau of Investigation</p> Maha Li-Hobbs

Colorado Bureau of Investigation

Maha Li-Hobbs

When authorities arrived at Nelson’s residence to carry out the welfare check, the mother claimed she put her child up for adoption.

However, when authorities contacted the adoption agency Nelson mentioned, they “claimed they had no contact or case file with Nelson or her daughter,” the release said.

This led officials back to Nelson’s home where a detective discovered an odor coming from a utility closet door on the apartment’s patio that smelled like decomposing flesh.

“Inside a bag, detectives found the charred human remains of Nelson’s daughter. Bone fragments in ashes were also located inside Nelson’s fireplace,” the release said.

Nelson entered a guilty plea on Wednesday, which vacated trial dates that would have taken place later this month. One of the terms of her plea means she will not have the possibility of a future appeal.

<p>Getty</p> police cars -- stock image


police cars -- stock image

“While we were fully prepared to take this case to trial, this plea protects Maha Li’s family from having to listen to painful, horrific and gruesome testimony,” Chief Deputy DA Chris Gallo said.

“Detectives with the Aurora Police Department were able to quickly punch holes in the defendant’s story which ultimately helped us quickly solve this case and bring justice to Maha Li’s family.”

Other officials added that Nelson had other options for Maha before ultimately choosing murder.

Related: Court Docs Reveal Final Moments of Mo. Children, 9 and 2, Whose Mom Allegedly Killed Them Before Confession

“This mother knew about available adoption programs that could have cared for this 5-year-old but instead, she chose murder,” District Attorney John Kellner said.

“While there is no way to fully comprehend what turned this mother into a monster, she deserves to spend several decades behind bars for the unspeakable crime she committed.”

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Senior Deputy DA Kathleen Tierney added, “There are many resources and legal ways for parents to surrender their children in the event they are unable to care for them.”

“It’s both heartbreaking and appalling that a mother would kill her own child and then make up a bogus adoption story so family would believe the child is alive and well.”

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