Death by Microwave: The Murder of Baby Paris

Baby Paris was only 28 days old when her mother burned her to death in a microwave oven

Anita Durairaj
4 min readJun 18, 2021


China Arnold (Image Source)

A microwave oven became a murder weapon in the death of 3-week-old baby Paris Talley in 2005.

Paris was murdered by her mother, China Arnold after China had an argument with her boyfriend Terrell Talley over the paternity of the baby. Later China would claim she was drunk when she placed Paris in the microwave.

I killed my baby. I wrapped her up. Put her in the microwave. I turned the oven on and I went outside. She right right in. — China Arnold

The incident that led to the murder first came to light in August 2005. China and Terrell were living in the Parkside Homes housing complex in Dayton Ohio. The young couple was living together with their four children including 3-week-old baby Paris.

China wasn’t a model mother. She had a criminal past. In 2000, she was convicted of kidnapping and in 2002, she was charged and found guilty of forgery. In any case, China was attending community college in Dayton and was hoping to become a counselor.

On August 29, 2005, China and Terrell had decided to head over to the local park to drink and share a bottle of Bacardi 151 that they had purchased. The children were left behind in the care of Terrell’s sister.

As the couple started drinking, they both became intoxicated and an argument was started over the paternity of baby Paris. Terrell wasn’t sure that Paris was his child as he thought that China had been having an affair. They quarreled for two hours and then returned home with tempers still flaring. However, Terrell left the apartment shortly after. He had slapped China and she had bitten him on the lips so he decided to cool down at a different location.

While he was gone, China who was still drunk and seething with anger took baby Paris and placed her in the microwave oven in their apartment. She turned on the microwave and literally cooked the baby for longer than two minutes. She then took the baby out and placed her in a tub of water where her skin peeled off.

When Terrell came back, he found that China had passed out while baby Paris was lying on the…