FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — Bail has been set for three people accused of covering up the death of an abused New York City girl whose remains were dumped in central New Jersey a decade ago.
Prosecutors say a recent tip enabled authorities to identify the victim as 9-year-old Jon-Niece Jones, of Harlem.
Thirty-nine-year-old Likisha Jones of Manhattan and 35-year-old James Jones of Brooklyn, the child's aunt and uncle, are jailed on $40,000 bail. The third suspect, 48-year-old Godfrey Gibson, who is Likisha Jones' boyfriend, is being held on $75,000 bail.
The investigation came to be known as the "Baby Bones" case after burned, skeletal remains were found in Upper Freehold Township in 2005.
Authorities say the girl died in 2002 after years of abuse by her mother. The mother died of natural causes four months later.
Police in New Jersey have identified a child whose skeletal remains were found in 2005 as a New York City girl who was the victim of years of abuse. They also charged three people, including her aunt and uncle, with covering up her death.
A tip received within the last two months enabled authorities to identify the victim in what came to be known as the "Baby Bones" case as 9-year-old Jon-Niece Jones, of Harlem, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Wednesday.
The investigation found that the girl died at the Harlem home of her aunt, Likisha Jones, on Aug. 15, 2002, following years of abuse by the child's mother, Elisha Jones, the prosecutor said.
Authorities allege the mother, the girl's uncle James Jones and the aunt's boyfriend, Godfrey Gibson, disposed of the body in Upper Freehold Township after setting it on fire. Elisha Jones died four months later of natural causes.
"The family members of Jon-Niece Jones turned a blind eye to the constant physical and mental abuse this girl endured for years," said Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, which investigated the case with the county prosecutor's office. "Because of the hard work by investigators, these three suspects will now have to answer for their alleged unthinkable actions."
Likisha Jones, 39, of Manhattan; James Jones, 35, of Brooklyn; and Gibson, 48, of Manhattan, were charged Tuesday with hindering apprehension, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.
Likisha Jones and Gibson were arrested at their home, and James Jones turned himself in at a Harlem police station, the prosecutor said.
They were being held at the county jail in Freehold pending a hearing Wednesday afternoon in Monmouth County Superior Court. Prosecutors didn't know if they had attorneys.
Officials used DNA to identify the remains, including a skull and jawbone, that were discovered by a hunter in tall grass.
The case got attention in 2009 when detectives appeared on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" to seek help in solving the case.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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