A 22-year-old Anchorage woman who spent her young adult life in and out of prison stands accused of killing her infant daughter in a room at a transitional housing facility, according to a bail document filed in the case.
The District Attorney's Office in Anchorage said Friday that they are charging Nina Amigale Alexie in the death of her 4-month-old, Amigale.
Alexie faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. A grand jury handed up the charges Thursday, said District Attorney Clint Campion.
The body of Amigale was discovered Saturday, wrapped in a blanket and cold to the touch, at Safe Haven in Anchorage, according to the bail document. Alexie, her boyfriend and the baby were staying at the facility operated by RuralCAP, which provides housing to homeless families with children for up to six months.
Alexie was arrested Thursday evening, Campion said.
The young woman could serve up to 99 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge if convicted. She will make an initial court appearance Saturday.
The bail document details homicide detectives' investigation into the death of the baby. They determined Alexie had been alone in the room with her daughter through a note the mother left behind. And her boyfriend, Jeffery Anderson, left the housing complex on the night of the death after an argument in which staff intervened, the document says.
Anderson called the police 1 a.m. on Saturday upon returning to Safe Haven. He found Amigale dead, according to the document. "Her mother, the defendant Alexie, was nowhere to be found," it says. In her place, Anderson found a journal with notes referring to the death of Amigale.
In the note, a copy of which was included in the bail document, Alexie does not admit to killing her daughter. She mentions sudden infant death syndrome at one point.
"I have cried for so long. I've begged God for a miracle to bring her back," the note reads.
Despite the lack of an admission, detectives found the note important. It confirmed that no one else was involved in Amigale's death; Alexie dated the death at early morning July 22, and she left the note behind for Anderson to find, according to the document.
About three hours later, police arrested Alexie when she was found drunk and having consensual sex with an acquaintance in the parking lot of Ruth Arcand Park in South Anchorage, according to the document. She fought with police and then slept off her drunkenness at Alaska Native Medical Center, where detectives talked with her Saturday evening.
She admitted to being alone in the room with Amigale; she also admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana earlier in the day, according to the bail document.
Alexie told police her daughter had been crying but she did not like holding her, as she wanted to rest. Instead, she allegedly stuffed a knit hat into the infant's mouth and left it there for about five minutes, according to the document.
"Alexie stated that when she removed the hat from Amigale's mouth, she noticed that Amigale was gasping for breath. Alexie said that Amigale then stopped breathing and became cold to the touch," the document says.
Feeling frightened and emotional, she decided to leave the room, she told police.
The mother "obviously struggles with substance abuse," assistant district attorney Kevin Bergt wrote in the bail document. She has been taken to the Anchorage sleep-off center five times since 2013 and has had 14 criminal convictions since turning 18 in 2012, he noted.