OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A California woman is being charged with murdering her toddler 21 years ago, while they were living in Okaloosa County.
Sheriff’s investigators had always considered the child’s death a homicide, they said they got their break in the case a little over a year ago.
A grand jury has indicted 38-year-old Mary Liza Mansker for the murder of her two-year-old daughter Marselina Liza.
The little girl died on December 30, 2002.
At the time, Mansker told authorities she blacked out and did not know how her baby died.
But in 2021, sheriff’s investigators asked the medical examiner’s office to take another look at the autopsy results.
“Because we think maybe there was a mistake made, so basically put a fresh set of eyes on it,” Capt. David Allen with Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Investigations said.
The medical examiner’s office first ruled the case a homicide, but after revisiting it, they determined the two-year-old had died from “shaken baby syndrome.”
Witnesses also told authorities Mansker had a terrible temper but did not have a history of blackouts.
“Based on the evidence that we had and new interviews, we were able to submit an arrest warrant for felony murder on the mother,” Allen said.
Mansker was arrested in California in September 2021, on an OCSO warrant.
On November 18, 2022, Mansker was charged with first-degree felony murder.
“They’re passionate about working these cold cases,” OCSO Sheriff Eric Aden said. “And even if they can’t solve anything for the moment, they still go in there and actively see if there’s anything they can turn over, any crumb, any stone that they can turn over that could remotely result in just rejuvenating that case a little bit further.”
Mansker is out on bond.
Her next court appearance is scheduled for February.