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Alberta mom pleads guilty in 2014 death of nine-year-old daughter

Last Updated Feb 16, 2017 at 4:49 pm MDT

Laura Coward pleaded guilty last month to killing her daughter, Amber Lucius, 9, pictured in this Alberta RCMP handout photo.

CALGARY – The mother of a nine-year-old girl found dead in a vehicle on a road in rural central Alberta has admitted to killing the child.

Laura Coward has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Amber Lucius.

Coward was originally charged with first-degree murder and was to go to trial next week.

She is to return to court for sentencing March 3.

Amber was reported missing Aug. 31, 2014 and her mother was arrested two days later near Sundre standing outside a vehicle where her daughter’s body was discovered.

Court documents described a bitter divorce between Coward and the girl’s father, Duane Lucius, and a custody tug-of-war over their daughter that continued up until the girl was found dead.